Skincare Acids 101: Everything You Need To Know About Acids
From exfoliation to brightening, get to know the essential acids that will take your skincare routine to the next level.
Skincare acids, commonly referred to Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s), Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s) and Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA’s) are no longer made for clinical treatment rooms only. They are readily available over the counter and in our skincare too. They are all forms of chemical exfoliation. However, which one is best to treat your concerns? Here is the rundown on what each acid does and how best to use it in your skincare routine.
Beta Hydroxy Acids are predominantly used to treat acne and congested skin. How? Well, they work deep within the pore to clear out excess oil and dead skin, whilst additionally providing exfoliating benefits. Hence why they’re great for oily skin types. Salicylic acid is probably the most well-known BHA and the acid to look for in your skincare if these are your concerns.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are probably the most popular and common skincare acids we would be likely to find in our stash. The two most popular acids are glycolic acid and lactic acid, and they specifically target ageing, hydration and are best for normal and combination skin types. They exfoliate dead skin cells, brighten the skin and promote collagen production. They are also great for age management as they can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The molecular structure of glycolic acid is smaller than that of lactic, therefore lactic is better for sensitive skin types as it’s not as strong. While glycolic acid penetrates deeper and is a bit more potent, so if you are quite sensitive it may not be best option for you.
Products to try:
Alpha-H Liquid Gold: this is a great glycolic acid-based exfoliating tonic to use two to three times a week to erase dead skin cells, while also helping with brightness, collagen production, sun damage, ageing and pigmentation concerns. Apply at night, and awake with revitalised skin.
Poly-Hydroxy Acids are similar to AHA’s in that they work by exfoliating dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. However, the molecular structure is much larger than AHA’s meaning they are much more gentle as they don’t penetrate as deeply. These are go-to exfoliants for sensitive and rosacea prone skin. They would additionally be great options for anybody that is pregnant and/or breastfeeding as they’re not stingy or uncomfortable in the slightest.
Product to try:
Medik8 Press & Glow: this is a daily exfoliating toner you can use post-cleansing and at night. It helps brighten the skin and is very hard to go overboard with. The perfect exfoliant for sensitive skin, however if you can’t tolerate it daily. A few times a week is fine as well. *Add to cart*.
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