The Ultimate Guide to Exfoliating Acid: Benefits, Types, and How to Use It

Do you struggle with dull, uneven skin? Have you tried countless skincare products without seeing any real results? It might be time to add an exfoliating acid to your routine.

While the word “acid” may sound intimidating, exfoliating acids are actually gentle yet effective skincare ingredients that can transform your skin. These acids work by breaking down and dissolving dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, revealing a brighter and smoother complexion underneath.

Types of Exfoliating Acids

There are several types of exfoliating acids available, each with their own unique benefits:

  • Glycolic acid: derived from sugarcane, glycolic acid is a popular choice for exfoliating because it has the smallest molecule size and can penetrate deeply into the skin.
  • Lactic acid: derived from milk, lactic acid is gentle and hydrating, making it a good choice for those with dry or sensitive skin.
  • Salicylic acid: derived from willow bark, salicylic acid is oil-soluble and can penetrate clogged pores, making it especially effective for those with acne-prone skin.
  • Mandelic acid: derived from almonds, mandelic acid is a gentle exfoliant that also has antibacterial properties.

Many skincare products contain a combination of these acids to maximize their benefits.

How to Use Exfoliating Acids

When incorporating an exfoliating acid into your skincare routine, it’s important to start slow and gradually increase usage to avoid irritation. Begin by using the product once or twice a week, and then increase usage as your skin adapts.

Exfoliating acids can be applied after cleansing and toning, but before moisturizer. They can be used in various forms, including toners, serums, masks, and peels.

It’s also important to use sunscreen daily when using exfoliating acids, as they can increase photo-sensitivity in the skin.

Benefits of Exfoliating Acids

Regular use of exfoliating acids can provide numerous benefits, including:

  • Improved skin texture and tone
  • Reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduced appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation
  • Reduced acne and blackheads
  • Overall brighter and healthier-looking skin

Best Products with Exfoliating Acids

There are many great skincare products that contain exfoliating acids, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
  • Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
  • COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
  • Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

These products have received rave reviews for their effectiveness at exfoliating and improving skin texture and tone.

Overall, incorporating an exfoliating acid into your skincare routine can be a game-changer for achieving brighter, smoother, and more even-toned skin. Just remember to start slowly and use sunscreen daily.

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