How To Add Acids To Your Skincare Regime
If you’ve got your basic skincare regime down and are looking to take your skin to the next level, you might be thinking of adding acids into your regime.
This is how to add acids to your skincare regime.
If you aren’t familiar with acids, these are the big guns of skincare – they are products designed to treat a variety of common skin issues such as blackheads, whiteheads, breakouts, hyper-pigmentation, and blocked pores.
Skincare-friendly acids are usually classed into two categories: AHAs and BHAs.
AHAs exfoliate the outer layer of skin, removing dead skin to uncover the fresh stuff.
AHAs work well on dry, flaking skin to stop pores from clogging and on hyper-pigmentation.
They help brighten the skin for a clearer, more refined complexion.
This group of acids includes glycolic acid (one of the most common acids), lactic acid, mandelic acid and more.
BHAs exfoliate at a deeper level, making them excellent for keeping pores clear and protecting from breakouts. They also work well at reducing inflammation.
Common BHAs include salicylic acid and in Korean Beauty products, betaine salicylate.
Confusingly (and despite the word “acid” in it’s name), hyaluronic acid is actually not a true acid in the way that BHAs and AHas are – instead, Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant (a water-binding agent) that works by attracting water to the skin to increase its hydration. In this way, it also functions in a different manner than AHAs and BHAs.
AHA and BHA exfoliants work in a similar way – namely, they unglue the bonds that leave dead skin stuck on the skin’s surface. This allows old skin to shed normally and helps reveal the smoother, fresher skin hiding beneath.
If it’s your first time using an acid product, start off slowly. Use it once or twice a week initially, then slowly build up your tolerance.
The application technique for acids is as follows:
1 After cleansing (and after Vitamin C serum if you use one), apply a small amount of your acid to the target area morning or night.
2 Spread out an even amount to the rest of the face, avoiding the eye area.
3 Focusing on the target area, massage lightly and allow full absorption.
4 For best results, wait 20-30 minutes before applying any other products to allow the acid to take effect without being prematurely neutralized.
NB. If you use your acids in the morning, make sure you apply sunscreen afterwards
Also remember to be careful with your acids if you are already using a prescription-strength retinoid or if you have an aspirin allergy.
For more tips on using acids in your skincare routine tune into the Korean Beauty Show podcast:
As acids are non-abrasive and require no manual exfoliation, they can be a lot gentler on the skin that scrubs, and more effective than wash-off masks.
- Common benefits you’ll notice using acids include:
- Softer, more hydrated skin
- Smoothing hard, bumpy, flaky, rough and coarse skin
- Brightening and clarifying the complexion
- An improvement in active breakouts, clogged pores and closed comedones
- Brightened skin tone
- Reduced visibility of fine lines
In a word? No.
Both provide impressive results and treat similar skin concerns. The best thing to do is try both and see which works best with your skin. You might find your skin looks best using both at once, or even just one.
STYLE STORY’s favourite Korean Beauty products containing acids include:
COSRX Whitehead Power Liquid – this is a powerful AHA skin treatment that is designed to exfoliate deep into the skin, reducing whiteheads and blackheads and working to prevent the formation of blemishes before they even occur.
APLB AHA BHA PHA Glutathione Cica Ampoule Serum - combining powerhouse skincare acids AHA, BHA and PHA this serum helps to create more healthy, radiant skin.
SOME BY MI AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream is a cult favourite because it is packed with tea tree, AHA, BHA and PHA. They not only work to remove dead skin but also the dirt and debris that clogs pores and contributes to breakouts. It also contains 10,000ppm of Tea Tree extracts, which are known for their excellent breakout-fighting properties.
COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid – this is a powerful BHA skin treatment that is designed to prevent the formation of blemishes before they even occur.
Shop our entire collection of chemical exfoliants here.
STYLE STORY– Your Go To for Kbeauty Since 2014
"If you aren’t familiar with acids, these are the big guns of skincare – they are products designed to treat a variety of common skin issues such as blackheads, whiteheads, breakouts, hyper-pigmentation, and blocked pores."- STYLE STORY
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