Skincare Acids: Chemical Exfoliation doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds

Admittedly this all sounds quite dramatic, but in reality there are a whole host of skincare acids out there that are completely safe, with a proven power to improve the look and feel of our skin.  They can:

  • Even out skin tone
  • Fade pigmentation
  • Help rosacea sufferers calm redness and bumps
  • Treat acne
  • Get to work on pesky clogged pores.
  • Refresh and brighten dull skin

Here are 3 skincare acids I think you’ll want to know about! See which one is best suited to your specific skincare needs. Chemical exfoliation is something all of the following acids have in common. The term ‘Chemical exfoliation’ is a fancy way of saying it gently dissolves dead and dull cells from the surface of our skin.  This helps to improve overall skin tone and texture without the need for that physical ‘scrub’ we commonly associate with when using the term ‘exfoliation’. With this in mind, is it worth noting that skincare acids can increase our sensitivity to the sunlight and so it is always recommended to wear an SPF after to prevent sun damage.

AZELAIC ACID (pronounced Az-eh-lay-ic)

Azelaic Acid: excellent for rosacea

A personal favourite of mine as someone living with rosacea. Anyone can use this if they want to start with something gentle.  It is has brilliant anti- inflammatory properties and helps to reduce redness and even out skin tone. Also popular for treating acne as it is an anti-bacterial ingredient that can help to prevent pores clogging and spots forming.

I currently use The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% and I seriously can’t recommend it enough. An absolute bargain at £5.50 this cream tingles slightly on application and quickly fades.  By the morning my skin looks visibly brighter and less red in areas where I’d normally be rosacea prone.

Here’s a really awesome article if you want to learn more about Azelaic Acid and its benefits: The Telegraph: Science of Skincare

Lactic Acid

Believe it or not, this little gem naturally occurs in milk and yoghurt! It can be made synthetically and is often found in skincare products for those who have dry or sensitive skin.  Lactic Acid is a very popular choice because it not only removes dead and dull skin cells to reveal a fresher, brighter complexion (we are constantly shedding skin cells on a daily basis…gross right?) but it is also a humectant! What is that?

Humectants draw in and retain moisture in our skin.  Goodbye dry and dehydrated faces! When using a Lactic Acid mask or peel for example, skin feels plump and hydrated…  and when our skin is plump an hydrated, those pesky fine lines and wrinkles are smoothed out…woop! Here is the link to my homemade Yoghurt and Turmeric face mask. It is a wonderful soothing, cooling and rejuvenating mask that is so simple to make and I can guarantee your face will look and feel so much softer and smoother after – because of the Lactic Acid! Also brilliant for anyone with rosacea. The turmeric has a lovely anti-inflammatory effect and the yoghurt cools flushing skin.



This acid is the most commonly used in skincare. You can find it in cleansers, toners and moisturisers. I have even had a Glycolic Peel myself in the past. It left my skin feeling very soft and radiant! Below is the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner it has some great reviews online and is worth checking out. Glycolic Acid is typically a very popular choice for those suffering from acne and congested skin. It is great at helping to fade acne scars too. Glycolic Acid is purifying; it penetrates the skin to give you a deep cleanse.  This ingredient gobbles up dead and dull skin cells as well as impurities that can block pores. For this reason, Glycolic Acid eradicates things like black heads and helps treat ongoing skin conditions like cystic acne. On top of all this it also helps to give you a smoother, brighter more even skin tone.

Thanks for reading! As always, I hope you enjoyed this blog post.

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Herbs and Herbs x

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