The older I get, the more I subscribe to an "easy does it" approach when it comes to skincare. I used to throw the highest intensity acids and acne treatments on my face and would wince at the stinging, burning sensations. "It must mean that it's working" I would say to myself.
In reality, just because something stings doesn't mean it's doing you good. It's a sign of irritation. A mild tingling is normal in some cases but when it stings like pouring peroxide on an open wound, it's not a good thing.
This is why I wanted to explore the gentle side of acid exfoliating in this post. For a quick crash course on acids (AHA's & BHA's) check this out.
The first three products I want to show you are gentle enough for daily use. They're excellent to use in the "toning" step of your skincare routine - so after cleansing.
I have gone on and on about First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads in the past and I still stand by them. A gentle mix of lactic and glycolic acids in an alcohol-free pre-soaked pad that's ready to use. There is no stinging sensation at all with these and they are unscented. I like to use these in the morning before I apply a hydrating serum and sunscreen.
If you're acne-prone, sensitive and want something with a bit more kick to it, the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel For Sensitive Skin is a viable option. It's a two step system - one pad is soaked with lactic, mandelic and salicylic acid which help dissolve dead skin cells. You wipe the first soaked pad on your skin, wait 2 minutes and follow up with the second pad. Second pad contains another cocktail of ingredients aimed at soothing your skin. These pads are individually packaged which make them perfect for travel. They come in varying strengths so you are sure to find one that suits your needs.
If you prefer to flex your skincare muscle at night time, Kypris Moonlight Catalyst is a worthy contender. I have a full review of it here, but in short it's an extremely gentle all natural serum that is loaded with enzymes to help resurface and clear up the skin. Also totally essential-oil free and unscented in case you're extremely sensitive. Works best when followed with a hydrating serum to really plump up your skin and get you glowing by morning.
If you can't be bothered to keep up with the daily acid thing, you might be more keen on Kate Somerville's RetASphere Micro Peel. This is gentle, effective and perfect if you're lazy. All you need to do is wash your face and apply this on your dry skin every other night before you go to bed. That's it. Just slap it on and snooze. You can use this anywhere from 2-3 times a week up to every other night, it's up to you. It contains a clever cocktail of glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, arbutin and retinol which makes this ideal for anti aging. It's the strongest out of all the products mentioned in this post yet it manages to feel hydrating and gentle despite its workhorse ingredients. This is a pricy product but a worthy splurge if you're interested in anti-aging and looking to amp up your evening routine.
If you're concerned with anti aging but also battle congested and sensitive skin, the Pai Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask is a worthy addition to your skincare arsenal. It's the gentlest, creamiest mask I have ever tried. Not drying whatsoever. It's hydrating, soothing and manages to very gently dissolve dead skin, built up oil and dirt that may be clogging your pores and leading to congestion. Pai is a brand I always recommend to people that battle sensitive problem skin.
What about you? Are there any acid exfoliating products that you're loving right now?