Happy Friday!!!! 😊
While attending esthetician school, I became really obsessed with learning more about using various acids (properly) in my skincare routine. Like a lot of people currently interested in skincare, I have been ceaselessly curious about these transformative ingredients. I struggled to get them to work for me when I first dabbled with them; but after two years of fails, struggles, successes, and LOADS of research and knowledge acquisition, I have become an enthusiastic supporter of acid…on my face that is (and maybe other kinds of usage too) 😏
During the initial legs of my acid journey, I shared tips and tricks (…and some struggles 🙄) on Instagram here and there, but I’ve always wanted to do a more comprehensive series on acid use… so after months of putting it off *deep breath*, I decided to take the plunge and do it! Every Friday over the next month or so, I will be doing a post on any and everything I can think of regarding (exfoliating) acid use: from the ABCs, proper (and responsible) usage, suggestions for different skin conditions/types, a guide to chemical peels, and more!! I’m trying to convert the hesitant and acid naysayers to see the light and shit 💡
I am super excited about this series… I’ve done months of research (and I still have a ways to go) so I really hope I can provide a great resource for all the acid acolytes out there!! Just as a disclaimer, I will be using a lot of technical language, buuut I’ll be sure to throw in a cuss word here and there 👌🏽
To kick off the series, I decided to give some background for those of you who have never really delved into this exciting segment of skincare!!
Why you should use exfoliating acids in your skincare routine
Why??? Well, using acids in your skincare regimen is an excellent way to achieve lots of beneficial skin results more efficiently and faster than just using skincare alone. But there are so many products and formulations on the market… what to choose? What’s the difference between AHAs and BHA? WTF are all these acronyms anyway?? 🤣 I’ll be answering alll of these questions in time, grasshopper. But first, I’ll give you a brief overview of things you might want to know first…
Different Types of Acid Used in Skincare
AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are naturally occurring acids that can be derived from natural sources (such as sugar cane, nuts, milk and fruit) as well as man made sources. They are used in skincare for a variety of reasons: to exfoliate, various anti-aging benefits, brightening, and improving the skin’s ability to maintain moisture…just to name a few. Some AHAs do the most… some only specialize in a couple of target issues; it really varies from acid to acid. FYI, The most common AHAs used in skincare are Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Mandelic Acid.
BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) is also a naturally occurring acid that can be lab produced. As far as skincare’s concerned there’s just one BHA: salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is derived from willow bark and is chemically related to aspirin, so skip it if you’re allergic. It’s mostly known for its impressive acne fighting powers, but it also helps exfoliate the skin by dissolving the substance that causes skin cells to stick together (desmosomes). BHA penetrates deep into clogged pores and reduces excess sebum production. It’s also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
I’ll be going into more details about these different acids in my next post…. citations and all 😅
There are other acids used in skincare as well… Vitamin C, Vitamin A (and its derivatives), Kojic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, and Ferulic Acid to name a few. Most of these ingredients will have their own dedicated posts and some (HA, KA) will not (they are not relevant to the topic of exfoliating acids, which is my main focus) so I won’t be going in-depth about them; AHAs/BHA are the stars of the acid world anyway IMHO 😂 Any of these acids (including AHAs + BHA of course) can be found in a plethora of different products: cleansers, toners, serums, creams, ointments, mists, sheet masks…. you name it, and I guarantee they’ve managed to squeeze some acid into that shit 😆
Whew! So that was my basic crash course on exfoliating acids. With all these different acid options and a zillion products that contain them… what acid product(s) should you choose….? 😲 I’ll have to leave you hanging for now, I’ve written a fucking novel already 😆
Stay tuned for next week’s post on AHA vs BHAs and I’ll give you more in depth info about them, as well as recommendations on which acids to use if you’re looking to treat certain issues 👍🏽
Please let me know if there’s any specific topics or concerns you might have about acids!! If I don’t have a post planned for it (or haven’t talked about it in some capacity…), I would be happy to oblige!! 😁
Thanks for reading!! Have a great weekend 💜