I know this is not a sentence you thought you would hear in all your years but, acids are good for you.
Give give me a minute to explain.
Remember when we bombarded our skin with physical exfoliators? Those scrubs with microbeads that we thought were doing great things for us? Well, we have found out that those scrubs are more harmful than helpful. That time, I would use everything that had “scrub” written on it. Thinking it was all fancy and it was doing something for my skincare routine. Haha. Just thinking about it makes me cringe so bad.
Physical exfoliators are constantly tugging my skin, breaking skin barrier, causing redness and inflammation, and not even doing any real work.
Well, chemical exfoliators are acids that are supposed to go deep into your pores to drag out any clogging and comedones in there. They have a very wide range of functions such as unclogging pores, clearing acne, exfoliating the face, helping skin tightness, adding moisture and hydration, removing dead skin cells and improving cell turn over.
I’m not an expert and in no way claim to be. But I sure know from years of research that your skin really focuses on ingredients and you should too.
Unlike physics exfoliators, these chemical exfoliators don’t tug at your skin. You only need to follow chemical exfoliator rules carefully and you will see good results.
There are two main types of face acids slash chemical exfoliators.
The Alpha hydroxy acids and the Beta hydroxy acids. I know it sounds all “sciency”, so we will just call them AHAs and BHAs.
Between the two, there is not one better than the other. They are just for different uses.
AHAs are water soluble and consists of acids like Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acids, Lactic Acids.
Glycolic Acid is my OG AHA. I started seeing results after using it 3 times. It provides significant exfoliation and cell turnover. And since it has small molecules, it really goes deep into the skin to unclog pores and prevent breakouts.
I’ll just say that although it is common, I never use my glycolic acid more than 3 times a week. And you should not use this with retinols, I mean, I never use ANY acids with retinoids. That’s just too many actives happening on your skin at once.
If glycolic acid seems like a lot, then Mandelic Acid and Lactic Acids are better suited. These have larger molecules and so won’t penetrate too deep. If you’re an AHA novice, maybe opt for any of these two instead.
Salicylic acid is the most popular BHA and the only one I know and love so much. As someone that constantly struggles with disgusting black heads, it has saved me from all the harmful diy black head removal therapies I see.
Just a few drops of this daily and I literally see my pores getting rid of those things. And sealing back up.
For All Acids, you should always be careful how you layer. AHAs and BHAs work well together. But you shouldn’t use more than one of each at once. Also, you should use them with moisturizing ingredients that help hydrate the skin.
Lastly, WEAR sunscreen. All day everyday, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. If you don’t, you’re only taking one step forward and several steps back.