Let’s drop some acid.
Yup, you read that right. We’re dropping some acid… on our face.
We are dropping SKIN-FRIENDLY ACID on our face!
Surprised? I don’t know what was going through your head but my mind was on acid skincare all along~
So maybe now you’re thinking,
“Skin-friendly acids? Is there even such a thing?”
Actually, if you’re a beauty fanatic, like me, you may be saying,
“Duh! Acids are AMAZING!”
But there are many people that still hear the word “acid” and think to themselves,
“You can put that on your face? Isn’t that DANGEROUS?”
And the answer is, my beauties, no. It’s not dangerous. That is, as long as you know your skin-friendly acids, what they do for you, and things to watch out for. And that’s what I’m writing about today!
SO WHY ACIDS?
Acids are way more magical than you would expect. (And again, I’m not talking about the kind you drop… unless you have some as a serum with a dropper.)
Acids give your skin a variety of benefits, depending on the type of acid and how you use them. We’re talking about acne care, pimple care, pore cleansing, moisturizing, brightening… I can’t make this stuff up, people.
One of my personal favorite aspect about acid skincare is that it’s suitable for supersensitive skin types, too. You may need to start off with a low percentage, only use a couple times a week, and keep an eye out for any irritations at first. But acids work along the epidermis and promotes the repairing of skin cells to bring about desired effects. Think of it as simply speeding up the already-natural process of skin cell regeneration. Sensitive skin types may need to experiment a little bit first to see which acids are safe to use, but the general notion of acid skincare is that it can be adapted into anyone’s routine.
ACID SKINCARE TIPS
So before we introduce our lovely line of Skin-Friendly Acids to you, let’s go over some “ground rules”. Here are some things to watch out for when introducing acids into your skincare routine.
Start Off Slow
More does not mean better. Faster introduction does not mean faster results. When starting out with acid skincare, try using milder acid products, little bit at a time. Do not use your acid products every day. Instead, start off slow with a single application every 2-3 days and see how your skin fares. It’s better to give your skin time to ease into the introduction of acids.
Know Your Allergies
This is going to sound boring, but it’s very important! Read the ingredient label before using acid skincare products, especially if you know your skin is allergic to certain ingredients! For example, if you know you’re allergic to aspirin, AVOID SALICYLIC ACID PRODUCTS. People who are allergic to aspirin are usually allergic to the salicylates in the aspirin. That means you’re allergic to the #1 BHA—Salicylic Acid—as well.
Baby Mamas Take Extra Care
If you are pregnant or nursing, you must be especially more careful when using acid skincare products. Avoid Salicylic acid for sure, because there is a chance that it could affect your blood stream. Talk to your doctor to find out what is safe to use for yourself so that your baby is not in harm’s way as well.
If AHA, Then SPF
If you are introducing AHA products in your skincare, I recommend making it a part of your nighttime routine. AHA makes your skin especially sensitive to UVA/UVB rays, which increases the chance of burns and irritations when you are exposed to the sun. If you are using AHA products in the morning, make sure to apply plenty of strong SPF products (I’m talking at least SPF50+/PA+++ here). GET YOUR SPF.
Monitor Your Skin Condition
Side effects are not to be taken by surprise when using acid skincare products. But they do deserve attention. Keep an eye out for any stinging or redness when using AHA or BHA products. Stop using the products immediately if this occurs. You might be able to try using them again in a couple of days after your skin calms down, but don’t try to force-feed more acid to your irritated skin. You know your skin the best—if you feel it might be a temporary reaction and you can handle it, then your skin is probably just adapting to the acids. If you really feel like something is wrong, then discontinue the acid skincare.
Patience is Key
As I’ve mentioned already, acids can do wonders for your skin. It can show some seriously visible benefits, but it does take time. Don’t lose faith too quickly—give your acid products fair chance before deciding that the magic isn’t just working for you. When you notice that your skin tone seems to be more even with less dark spots and your skin texture feels smoother, it’s probably a sign that the acids are working!
MEET THE ACIDS
Here’s the fun part! I’m going to introduce you to some of our Skin-Friendly Acids so you can pick and choose your favorites. Let’s go meet our Acids!
Depending on your skin type and the effect you’re looking for, you can choose your exfoliating acid between AHA and BHA.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are typically derived from sugar cane, milk, or fruits. AHA is water-soluble, so it works well to exfoliate dry or flaky skin. It has a bit more of a moisture-locking property. It’s known to be helpful in fading out fine lines and prevent irregular pigmentation and dark spots by way of “peeling”.
Glycolic Acid, derived from sugar canes, is known to be the fastest-acting AHA around. This is because Glycolic Acid’s molecules are the smallest, so they penetrate the skin more deeply and effectively. It’s known to bring about anti-aging effects as well as decrease hyperpigmentation of the skin. It’s a good “starter acid”, so to speak.
Lactic Acid is derived from milk. It’s another great choice for anti-aging effects as it smoothens out the skin by encouraging collagen growth. It’s also known to be a better pick for sensitive skin compared to Glycolic Acid.
Malic Acid is an AHA derived from fruits, like apples. It’s also proven to be a great AHA to remove dead skin cells for smoother texture and brighter complexion.
Let’s move on to Beta Hydroxy Acids. BHA is equally effective in exfoliating acne-prone skin. But as opposed to AHA, it is an oil-soluble acid that tends to dry the skin out so it works much better on oily skin types. BHA works a little differently than AHA in that it works to clean out the pores of “gunks” (like blackheads).
Salicylic Acid is the most common form of BHA. It works to unclog pores and kill bacteria to treat acne and care for inflamed skin. However, salicylic acid may be a bit too strong for some, so if you have sensitive skin, approach slowly with caution!
Betaine Salicylate is essentially Salicylic Acid combined with Betaine, resulting in a gentler BHA. If pure Salicylic is too much for your skin, look for products that contain Betaine Salicylate instead.
Hyaluronic Acid is the key ingredient in many moisturizing products. It is a natural acid that occurs in the human body, but the level decreases with age. Providing your skin with extra Hyaluronic acid will help to recharge your skin with moisture and strengthen the skin’s barrier to slow down aging. It’s known as the acid that is generally safe to use for any skin type.
Ascorbic Acid is the leading form of Vitamin C that has been proven to be beneficial to the skin. If you missed me gushing all about Vitamin C skincare, you can read more HERE.
But just to reiterate, ascorbic acid will help to intensely brighten your complexion and even out your skin tone. It fades away dark spots for a fresher look and it even slows down aging. Plus, you’ll get firmer skin, too. What more could you ask for? Just make sure to stay out of the sun or apply plenty of SPF after applying ascorbic acid.
Phew! That was a long breakdown…
Are you ready to drop—ahem—I mean, apply some acid to your skin?
It’s gonna be a good night, y’all.
Keep it groovy,