Skincare acid is all about the beauty town. You’ll find them in face wash, masks, peels, lotions. Once a scary word, I mean ACID, who wants to put that on their face? Now a completely accepted and even sought after ingredient in our beauty regiment!
So we are here today to chat WHICH acid is perfect for your skin and why. There’s a few to choose from and I’ll help you understand which is the saucer to your cup, the sprinkles to your chocolate cake, or just THE BOMB for your skin.
IS IT OK TO USE ACID ON SKIN?
Acid sounds aggressive right…? Well really it’s all relative. There’s loads of stuff in our kitchens which we touch and eat all the time and are acids, things like milk (which gets more acidic with age), the common tomato… oranges, limes, lemons.. well those ones kinda sting sometimes! I think they win tittle of ‘most acidic kitchen ingredient’. There’s lots of acidic things about that don’t ‘burn’.
Turns out, skin is also acidic, it doesn’t like to sit on the fence that is MR.NEUTRAL, and swings the way of acid every-day. Using products that are similar to your skins pH will just let your skin ‘be’, which is great, it doesn’t like to be messed with. #GuardDogLivesHere.
WHY CAN ACID HELP SKIN
Acid is a way of exfoliating off skin. Exfoliating is usually something that gets us thinking of scrubbing brushes and exfoliating beads, but acid is just as effective, I even wrote my first EVER blog post about whether you should reach for the body brush or the exfoliating acids. Think of acid like the cuppa tea to your digestive biscuit. Biscuit dunks in and it all goes a bit soggy #DUNKER, while you wait for the perfect moment of maximum sogginess to biscuit still being in 1 piece! Well acid does just this to our skin, it loosens it up like it where hitting some moves on the dancefloor.
Skin can get a little clogged up now and again, we took a look at that a few days ago when we chatted about, ‘How to minimise your pores’. When skin gets bogged down it can cause congestion, that’s spots, blemishes, things that look like black heads, just things that we would all rather show the back door to. In the longer term, if skin isn’t able to ‘shed’, also known as leave your face! it makes for older looking, thicker appearing skin that can get wrinkles before its time.
Fear not, the acid is here…
THE 2 MOST USED SKINCARE ACIDS FOR SHEDDING THAT SKIN
There’s 2 go-to shedders (beginning to sound like a gardening blog ‘ere!) for your skin, that’s Salicylic acid and Glycolic acid. They are both pretty similar but at the same time completely different – think 2 twins who look identical at first. Then you get to know ‘em and realise how completely, crazily (in a good way!) different they are.
A little extra for the curious beauty gurus to be out there. If you hear the phrase AHA’s, that’s alpha-hydroxy acids, then they are talking about acids like Glycolic. If you hear BHA’s, which is short for beta-hydroxy acids, then that’s acids like Salicylic . All it is, is a fancy postcode, its telling ‘The nerdy scientist’ #OwnThatNerdyness, where the acid bit of the ingredient is. You know, in case we want to send it a postcard or somthin’.
WHICH SHOULD YOU USE?
This is really simple, it just depends on your skin type. Is it naturally more oily than dry, or more dry than oily?
See here’s the thing, salicylic acid is better buds with the chip pan, salicylic like’s oil, dissolves up in it like that digestive biscuit sat for TOO long in your tea.
Glycolic acid likes to be a bit different, this one is all about the watery stuff. If your skin is more dry than oily, then that means it (ironically) has more water! More water that it finds harder to hold onto because of a lack of skin oils that stop it from wandering off. Make sense?
If it gets on better with your skin, it’s going to do a better job #SayNOtoThePsychoBitchBoss. Because salicylic acid dissolves much better on oily skin, it can get to work quick, practically turning up with bed hair. If you used Glycolic acid on oily skin, less magic would happen as it would take much, much longer to dissolve through to your skin.. and do its thang!
So oily skin types should use Salicylic acid and drier skin types, Glycolic.
WHAT IF IT SOUNDS LIKE I’M USING THE WRONG ACID?
Let me tell you that, that is ABSOLUTELY OK, It doesn’t stop you from using products with either of them in, if you have a favourite that after reading this doesn’t seem to fit your skin type, that’s just fine. It’s not going to do you any harm, there just could be some other products out there that might work EVEN better for you #PlentyOfFishInTheSea.
WHEN LESS IS MORE
Acid is one of those things! There’s always outrage over products that claim to have such-n-such ingredient in ‘em but turn out to have 0.00000000001% in there. Well acid is one of those cases where that can be just what’s needed.
More acid, means more skin will be helped on its way off your face.
The medicated strength peels are the strongest, not available unless in the hands of a qualified dermatologist, these are the beasts of the peel world, when you literally WILL lose visible amounts of skin. Probably not registrable on a pair of bathroom scales but definitely a significant hand of debris.
Turns out, we don’t want that peeling look every day. Who knew?
Bring on the 2% face wash, the lightly exfoliating face creams. These are the guys that you can use pretty much on a day to day basis. I say pretty much as they are 100% safe to use in this way, sometimes it’s also a good idea to break it up a bit. After all, we need a bit of skin left you know *wink wink*.