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The INS and OUTS of ACIDS for your skin!

Posted by Barbara Barnes on
The INS and OUTS of ACIDS for your skin!

In recent years acids have achieved cult status and are now often a part of a daily skin ritual.

Where ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid were previously only used at your esthetician’s office, acids are now more mainstream. Time to take a closer look and examine the ins and outs of some user-friendly acids.

Here’s a lineup of some popular acids that can help to heal certain skin concerns, organized from gentlest to most exfoliating and active.

1. Hyaluronic acid – this hydrating acid is safe and recommended to use for anyone over 25 (that’s when our dermis starts aging) and in serum form it is super easy to use as an added layer between your first serum and your moisturizer or SPF.

Hyaluronic acid is especially great if you have dry skin or are located in dry or high elevation environments.  Hyaluronic acid also has antibacterial properties that ensure wounds heal faster. This versatile moisturizing acid can be used on dry, oily and sensitive skin types. Anyone concerned with slowing down the aging process should be using a clean and safe hyaluronic acid.

2. Lactic acid – these acids naturally occur in fermented foods and can be commercially produced from many different sources. They are a larger molecular structure that may work slower than other acids, however as they penetrate into the dermis in this manner, they can help promote elastin and collagen, which we love! 

3. Kojic acid –a naturally derived by-product of the fermentation of rice, sometimes produced from different types of fungi. This type of acid may take longer to see results but in low % can benefit many types of skin, especially those dealing with pigmentation issues. With regular use and proper application, kojic acid can help lighten sunspots and acne scars. 

4. Retinol – technically Retinol is not an acid, but due to the high concentration of vitamin A, its effect is comparable to that of an acid. Retinol improves the skin's structure and complexion, it also fades pigmentation spots, softens fine lines and wrinkles. Only apply this type of serum or cream in the evening, as retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. Always consult your Doctor and/or Esthetician before using any Vitamin A derivative product. 

5. Salicylic Acid – perfect for acne prone skin. This acid penetrates deep into your dermis and prevents the buildup of bacteria and sebum. Salicylic acid acts like an exfoliant, promoting regeneration of healthy new skin cells. It’s great to use as a spot treatment for stubborn bumps and acne. This acid is a ‘less is more’ kind of product! Any kind of over-use of these stronger types of acids can cause dryness, possible redness and flakiness of the face. 

6. Glycolic acid - it’s the smallest molecular structure in the acid family derived from sugar, it works quickly and penetrates into the dermis fast so that people feel it and see immediate results, especially with minimizing pore size. However, it may not be the best acid for all skin types and we don’t recommend daily use of Glycolic Acids. We believe this should only be used by a trained professional in a spa setting, as it can work wonders on aging as well as acne-prone skin. This acid is not for those with sensitive skin or rosacea, as it can cause inflammation as well as irritation. 

Less is More!

Acids can have a major impact on your skin. When it comes to acids, less is more! Always remember to wear a clean, reef safe sunscreen every day, reapplying every 2 hours to avoid sun damage. Signs of overusing acids can include flaking of the skin, extreme dry patches and underlying bumps. Healing from overuse can take a week, even months. If you are starting out on acids, start with the gentlest acids, with very low percentages and work your way up from there. 

Jenette’s favorite acids that she recommends for most of her clients on a weekly or daily basis: lactic and kojic acids both exfoliate, brighten and hydrate.

Her #1 acid on her Must Have Daily List: Hyaluronic Acid, super calming, hydrating, brightening, preventing the aging process from taking a toll on the dermis. These acids all have larger molecular structures that work slowly and penetrate into the dermis, promoting long term elastin and collagen production.

Did you know you can also find these kinds of acids in sea lettuce, root veggies, bone broth, leafy greens and more?!  

If you would like to book a personal skin consultation with Jenette you can do so through her spa Being in LA, in this consult she can advice you on what kind of acid to use and when to use it to benefit your skin care ritual. 


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