If you suffer from a combination of conflicting skin issues like dryness, acne, and sensitivity, well, you heard it from us first: hypochlorous acid is the ingredient that’s set to pick up in 2023 and it’s going to help you bridge the gaps in your skincare routine.

Hear us out – for those with acne and dry skin, spot treatments might be effective at drying out pesky pimples but they also can become drying to the skin, and, while retinol-infused formulas are heralded for fighting acne, they’re also notorious for causing irritation to sensitive skin.

Enter hypochlorous acid, an anti-bacterial ingredient that soothes everything from acne and eczema to rosacea skin, all while being suitable for even sensitive skin. Right now, it’s being bottled up into skincare products and it’s what we’ll be snagging to relieve our irritated skin too.

What is hypochlorous acid?

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Photo source: tower28beauty/Instagram. Using a hypochlorous acid-infused spray, before/after.

Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid with strong antimicrobial properties, which means it can be used to reduce skin inflammation, treat acne breakouts, and even soothe eczema on the skin.

If you’ve taken to wiping every germ-filled surface with Clorox wipes ever since the pandemic hit, then you’re already partially acquainted with this anti-bacterial ingredient.

This not-so-secret ingredient in Clorox wipes, hypochlorous acid isn’t only used to disinfect surfaces; it’s also used on open wounds (though not in Clorox wipe form, for sure) to promote healing, and by dermatologists on the skin before they perform procedures like laser treatments.

It’s also important to note that hypochlorous acid isn’t the same as bleach!

What’s so great about hypochlorous acid?

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Photo source: tower28beauty/Instagram. Using a hypochlorous acid-infused serum, before/after.

When it comes to incorporating hypochlorous acid into our skincare routines, there’s one thing you need to know about this antimicrobial ingredient: it’s gentle on and non-stripping to the skin.

Unlike alcohol or benzoyl peroxide, hypochlorous acid doesn’t dry out the skin and isn’t harsh on the complexion. Naturally occurring in the skin, HOCL (the chemical symbol for the ingredient) is already produced by our body’s white blood cells to fight against pathogens and disinfect.

But since we can’t get our body to conjure more hypochlorous acid where we need it, we get the help of HOCL skincare products to provide our skin with a boost.

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Photo source: tower28beauty/Instagram. Using a hypochlorous acid-infused serum, before/after.

As the ingredient is already found in our skin – the same as the now-familiar, buzzy skincare ingredient, hyaluronic acid, hypochlorous acid doesn’t have to be gradually introduced in a skincare routine. Rather, you can reach for a hypochlorous skincare spray today and spray it, say, on your angry-looking acne spots or over your sunburnt skin to soothe and heal it.

The best part is that hypochlorous acid can be used on all skin types, even on sensitive skin.

If you still haven’t quite grasped how exactly hypochlorous acid benefits in skincare, we’ll spell it out for you: this antimicrobial ingredient works to disinfect the skin, reduce inflammation, and encourage quicker healing – doesn’t matter whether it’s a sunburn, acne breakouts, eczema, or psoriasis. And, it’s suitable for all skin types too.

How to use hypochlorous acid

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Hypochlorous acid can be infused into a myriad of skincare products including cleansers, serums, and moisturisers but, right now, this soon-to-be-buzzy ingredient is most commonly available in sprays.

Adopted into a skincare routine, it should look like this: cleanser, hypochlorous acid spray, other skincare products, and then moisturiser. You can spray it over your face in a light layer to help with disinfection and reducing inflammation, and carry on with the rest of your routine as per normal.

For targeted use on acne spots, itchy eczema skin, or sunburnt areas, just reach for the hypochlorous acid spray and spritz, spritz, and spritz again!

Best hypochlorous acid products

Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

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The most popular hypochlorous acid spray is none other than Tower 28’s SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray!

This skin-soothing spray is designed to be used in place of toner, and its star ingredient, HOCL, of course, is what really helps to reduce redness and irritation.

Stamped with the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance™, you can be sure that this one’s safe to use on all skin types. Plus, how cute is that orange spritz bottle too?

Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray retails for S$47 (120ml) on Shopee.

Briotech Topical Skin Spray

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Made with only two ingredients, the Briotech Topical Skin Spray features electrolysed saline salt water alongside the hero ingredient, hypochlorous acid. And, because it boasts a pared-down ingredient list, this hypochlorous acid spray’s the perfect match for those with super sensitive skin.

Did you know that besides on the face to calm skin irritation, this spray also can be directed onto piercings or new tattoos to disinfect and promote healing? Glower skin and puss-free piercings – it’s the dream.

Briotech Topical Skin Spray retails for S$65.12 on Amazon.

Curativa Bay Advanced Hypochlorous Skin Spray

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If you’ve tried a hypochlorous acid skincare spray before but still suffered from redness and irritation, hypochlorous acid isn’t a likely culprit but another ingredient on the list might be.

It’s why those with sensitive skin should reach for a hypochlorous acid spray that’s fragrance-free, just like the one from Curativa Bay.

Curativa Bay’s Advanced Hypochlorous Skin Spray is fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and preservative-free, even as it stars antimicrobial hypochlorous acid – it’s a soothing solution that even your sensitive skin will love!

Curativa Bay Advanced Hypochlorous Skin Spray retails for S$65.17 on Amazon.

OCuSOFT Hypochlor Hypochlorous Acid Solution Spray 0.02%

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Suitable for the most delicate parts of your face, the eye area, the OCuSOFT Hypochlor Hypochlorous Acid Solution Spray 0.02% can be spritzed directly onto the eyelids – with your eyes closed, of course – to improve conditions like eczema or even Demodex infestation (face mites).

Since dermatologists and ophthalmologists have recommended this over-the-counter hypochlorous acid spray, it’s one that’s worth a shot.

OCuSOFT Hypochlor Hypochlorous Acid Solution Spray 0.02% retails for S$82.77 on Lazada.

Tower 28 SOS Intensive Rescue Serum

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Hypochlorous might be an ingredient that’s gaining momentum in skincare this year, but it’s not quite as buzzy as hero actives like retinol just yet. We aren’t able to take our pick from a brimming shelf of hypochlorous acid skincare products at the moment, even though we’re expecting the ingredient to rise to retinol-level popularity in 2023.

Regardless, we believe the SOS Intensive Rescue Serum, again from Tower 28, is one that’ll continue to top the charts when it comes to hypochlorous acid skincare products in the future.

This lightweight serum is power-packed with a concentrated dose of stable hypochlorous acid so that you can soothe your skin in a 12-step skincare style. It’s for those of us who would pick the silky texture of serums over a light mist any time, as well as really target the problem areas on our skin.

The Tower 28 SOS Intensive Rescue Serum is one of a kind, especially since hypochlorous acid is “notoriously difficult to stabilise”, as noted by the brand’s founder, Amy Liu.

Besides beauty junkies, doctors and dermatologists are also backing this magic hypochlorous acid-in-a-bottle, which allows anyone to easily access the antimicrobial ingredient for soothing skin.

So, whether you’ve got acne, rosacea, sensitive skin, or skin that’s healing for a procedure, snag this bottle of hypochlorous acid serum off the shelf and you’ll be flaunting soothed, smooth skin in no time.

Tower 28 SOS Intensive Rescue Serum retails for S$48.84 on Revolve. Shipping fees apply.

Featured image credit: tower28/Instagram 

Related read: 17 best eczema creams to soothe and hydrate dry, itchy, sensitive skin fast