The thought of putting something with the word “acid” on your skin sounds a little scary, but in truth natural skincare acids might be exactly what your skin needs. Skincare acids have been used for many years to keep skin nourished, and while some brands have strayed from the natural kind of acids, there are many organic beauty brands we love who use natural skincare acids. AHAs and BHAs are some of the good guys in the acid world. Discover more about their benefits and suitability for your skin needs.
AHAs: Natural Skincare Acids for Anti-Ageing
AHAs aka Alpha Hydroxy Acids work a treat for all skin issues associated with ageing – sun damage, dryness, dullness. In fact, anyone with dull skin who wants to brighten it up should look for these acids. To remember this, think A = anti-ageing1.
There are a few members of the AHA family to look out for on the ingredients list of your skincare, including citric acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid. Citric acid can be sourced from citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, which work to fight free radical damage that can lead to dull looking skin. Glycolic acid provides a mild, natural exfoliating effect on the skin and can be naturally sourced from sugar for use in skincare. It exfoliates the top layer of the skin and may be useful in reducing acne scarring and hyperpigmentation, improving the skin’s appearance and texture to keep it looking bright. Lactic acid is another form of AHA that is a slightly gentler exfoliator and can help remove flaky skin. Unlike other acids, lactic acid is both gently exfoliating and hydrating, and has water-binding properties to exfoliate away those dry skin cells in the most non-irritating way. Start with formulations containing lactic acid at 5% if your skin is sensitive, then moving up to 10%. Lactic acid is the gentlest acid and usually tolerated well by sensitive skin.
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This can be thought of as an effective skin-clearing serum, but in cleanser form. It gently clears away pore-clogging debris and dull dead skin to reveal brighter, smoother skin with smaller looking pores.
A silky clay mask that is cool and calming, an ideal choice for combination or blemish-prone skin that is also sensitive.
BHAs: Natural Skincare Acids for Unclogging Pores
BHAs aka Beta Hydroxy Acids are ideal for those with skin that is prone to spots and blackheads or white bumps, because they can penetrate deep enough to unclog pores. BHAs also provide anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial action so can be used on acne-sensitive, reddened skin. Think B = blocked pores1.
The benefits of BHAs, otherwise seen as salicylic acid on ingredients list, come from its ability to unclog pores and break up dead skin cells to loosen blackheads. With BHA in your natural skincare products, you can unblock pores to draw out impurities. BHAs may be found in skincare that features willow bark on the ingredient list, which contains naturally occurring salicylic acid to gently dissolve skin cell build-up.
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White Willow extract gently exfoliates, controls sebum levels and provides anti-inflammatory properties.
An effective and innovative way to infuse your skin with breakout-controlling actives while offering effective oil-free hydration.
1. Burke I. (2016). The Nature of Beauty: Organic Skincare, Botanical Beauty Rituals and Clean Cosmetics. London: Ebury Press.