Welcome to the second blog in our series that breaks down the latest skincare trend – using acids as chemical exfoliators. As scary as it sounds, they can actually be much gentler on your skin than the abrasive beads found in more traditional exfoliating products.
We’ve already looked at Glycolic acid; the AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) that works on the skin’s surface, breaking down the sebaceous glue that holds together dead skin cells to reveal the radiant, fresh skin underneath. Our favourite is The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution which restores a clear and radiant glow to your skin.
Now we’re looking into the skincare powers of its more powerful cousin, Salicylic Acid, a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) derived from Willow bark. It’s cell structure makes it ‘oil soluble’ which allows it to penetrate deeper in to the skin compared to AHA’s. This, alongside its antibacterial properties, gives it incredible blackhead and blemish fighting powers. It removes dead skin cells, excess oils and sebum from deep within your pores, clearing out your skin from deep within.
It also tackles redness and irritation with its anti-inflammatory properties, calming the skin and evening out skin tone; so it’s great for acne scarring and those annoying reddish brown or purple marks left behind by our unwelcome skin invaders. Our personal favourite is The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% solution, perfect for blemish prone skin.
Goodbye spots, blackheads and oily skin; hello flawless, picture-perfect glowing skin!
So now you know about the benefits of both Glycolic and Salicylic acid, but what if you want the best of both worlds? You want the glowing skin Glycolic acid gives you, but also want to tackle blemishes and blackheads at a deeper level as Salicylic acid does. Well we have good news for you! You can use BOTH!
We just recommend you don’t use them at the same time as it can be overly harsh on the skin to use them on the same night. Instead, rotate between the two nightly or weekly, depending on what your skin needs. If you’re looking dull or dry, focus more on using Glycolic acid to break down that dead skin and give you a radiant glow. If you’ve got a few pesky spots or a full blown breakout, turn to Salicylic acid to target the blemishes and minimise redness or swelling.
For best results, use at night after removing your makeup and cleansing your face. Apply either acid, it might tingle slightly but this is normal, and let it soak in. Follow it by massaging in some Hyaluronic acid which helps your skin
retain moisture (we look deeper in to this in our next blog post) and finish off with
an intensive serum or moisturiser to nourish your skin.
Alternatively, The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution combines the two acid types for all round skin care. It’s an exfoliating face mask that fights acne whilst simultaneously restoring clarity to your skin. By exfoliating at multiple levels in the skin, it offers a comprehensive approach to targeting blemishes, uneven skin texture and the look of fine lines. You only need to use this product once a week though due to its strength and skin peeling qualities! It reveals smooth, luminous skin but as the name suggests, expect some peeling after use.
There you have it, a break down of our favourite AHA and BHA acids. We hope you feel less intimidated about introducing them to your skincare routine, they really do make an incredible difference! Next time we’re looking at Hyaluronic acid, which has the ability to hold 1000x its own weight in water so is perfect for keeping your skin nourished and hydrated!