Skin Smart 004: Acids

Every time I recommend people use acids on their skin, they look at me like I'm insane. But, I mean, not that kind of acid (come on people). Acids are anything below a 7 on the pH scale, meaning your skin (which sits at a 5.5) is slightly acidic. They're amazing little multitaskers that give really quick results and can help heal things like acne, dark spots, and fine lines. It's worth noting that acids are most beneficial to those of us in our 20s and 30s, past that fine lines become much deeper and require different types of care. There are a bunch of different acids out there that do different things, but today I'm going to focus on Hyaluronic Acid, Glycolic Acid, and Lactic Acid. I've previously done a post on Salicylic Acid, Retinoids (from retinoic acid), and Hyaluronic Acids if you want to learn more!

The most effective acid out there is Glycolic Acid. This is because it is made up of teeny tiny molecules, meaning it can penetrate much deeper into the layers of your skin and work more effectively. Glycolic Acid is an AHA, and like all AHAs it dissolves the 'glue' that holds skin cells together, breaking down the top layer of dead, dull skin. This breakdown increases cell turnover which obviously reveals newer, smoother, and brighter skin. But it also releases dead skin cells blocking up pores and blackheads, so can also help with getting rid of acne! It's also been shown to boost collagen production, thickening the epidermis and leaving your skin more elastic (bye bye fine lines).

There are tons of Glycolic products on the market, but my favourites come from Pixi. First of all, the cult-classic Glow Tonic. I will never ever go a day without using this, it is amazing. It's oil and alcohol free, so good for all skin types and has an abundance of awesome ingredients. It has 5% Glycolic Acid, meaning you should have zero problems using this twice a day as your toning step. Aloe Vera soothes the skin, Witch Hazel tones, firms, and softens texture, and ginseng provides oxygen to skin cells. If the Queen Caroline Hirons' praises don't make you want to run to Target to get this, I don't know what will. I've also recently fallen in love with the Overnight Glow Serum. The first night I tried this I was sort of skeptical, but I was totally shocked when I looked in the mirror the next morning. I have never had anything show results so quickly. You guys know I love my Advanced Retinoid from the Ordinary, which was slowly getting rid of my scarring. This products has very nearly erased them in the two weeks I've been using it. The texture is pretty strange, but you get used to it and is fine once blended in. I find myself more and more addicted to Pixi products.

Lactic Acid is also an AHA, so it does similar things to the Glycolic Acid. At lower strengths, it's good for sensitive skin. So if you haven't been having much luck with a glycolic, try something with Lactic Acid. Just make sure it's a low level, something like Good Genes from Sunday Riley has a super high concentration of the acid, so it's incredibly strong. Lactic Acid helps control dark spots, fine lines, and other signs of aging by breaking down the barrier between skin cells, just like glycolic acid. I've never personally tried a lactic acid product since glycolics work so well for me. Sunday Riley's Good Genes is the most popular Lactic Acid product on the market, even though it costs an arm and a leg. It contains 40% lactic acid (no that's not a typo, I said forty) so like I said, it's incredibly strong. This is on my list to try, but it's got rave reviews for a reason, it works. If you're ballin on a budget like me, or you have more sensitive skin, the Ordinary has two Lactic Acid offerings. They have both a 5% and 10% product, which won't yield as fast result, but also won't break the bank or harm sensitive skin.

I'm sure you've heard me sing the praises of Hyaluronic Acid many a times, but I wanted to include it here to remind you that not all acids exfoliate. Hyaluronic Acid is a glycosaminoglycan (yeah, wtf) which is basically the part of your skin that keeps it looking young. It keeps skin stable and consistently renewed, but also depletes as we age (which is part of the reason babies have flawless skin, rude). Hyaluronic Acid also has a ridiculous ability to retain water, we're talking one gram holding up to six litres of water. SIX. That's a thousand times its own weight in water. Magic. HA is also great at providing anti-aging benefits, as it allows the skin to hold water it wouldn't be able to as we age. This moisture keeps skin looking smooth and hydrated, pluming up fine lines and making them disappear! Look out for products that contain both HA and Sodium Hyaluronate. SH is the salt form of Hyaluronic Acid and is more rapidly absorbed by your skin.

My beloved Super Bounce is my favourite HA product and I hope that I will never have to be without it (glossier.com/reps/amelia and you never will be either). Combined with Vitamin B5, it keeps my skin smooth and hydrated, even in harsh winter weather. And with this awful heatwave, it helps to keep me refreshed. Speaking of refreshed, I've also recently become obsessed with the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist. I was also a bit skeptical of this one, but I absolutely adore it. It really helps to lock products in and feels absolutely amazing on your skin, I imagine I will be going through several bottles of this once proper summer hits. Black oat, provitamin A, and linoleic acid (another hydrating acid) provide moisture, and the star hyaluronic acid locks it all in. The OG Hyaluronic Acid serum is the Hydraluron from Indeed Labs. I've had this a little longer than I'd like to admit, and definitely need to pick up a new one (oops). The idea of this is that you but it on as a base under hydrating products and it'll suck the moisture right into your skin. It works. Boy oh boy. Another thing Queen CH has raved about, so you best believe us, hey? (She put it in her hall of fame after using it for three days kind of good).

Right if you've made it all the way down here, congratulations, you're a wonderful skin-loving human being. If there are any other types of acids you're curious about let me know and I'll try to get back to you quickly! Also, any other Skin Smart posts you'd like to see?

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