Skin Chemistry: All About Acids

I don't know about you, but all my knowledge of acids comes from a long ago high-school chemistry class. Never did I think it would be useful - until now! Many of our products here at SKIN1004 contain acids and we think it is important to know what type of acids there are and what effect they have on your skin. Put on your protective goggles and lets dive in to a new type of chemistry lesson!



Acids as a component of skincare products are exfoliators; removing dead skin and build up without the use of rough, grainy particles that you might associate with an exfoliating scrub. These particles can be super damaging to the skin barrier, causing small tears. Acids leave your skin in the perfect condition, ready for the next step in your routine, by balancing our your skin's pH level. A pH level indicates how acidic or alkaline a substance is from 0-14, 0 being completely acidic and 14 being completely alkaline. Each substance has it's own ideal level which is why adding acid to reach the ideal level is beneficial to creating an ideal and optimum skin condition.



It is important not to overuse acid-containing products. Always follow the instructions and introduce them to your skincare routine slowly. If you experience itchiness, dryness, redness, flaking or irritation after use then make sure to take a pause for a few days. These could be a sign you are overusing acids or that they simply don't suit your skin type.



AHAs - Alpha Hydroxy Acids

AHAs work on the surface of the skin, gently dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells so that they can be easily washed away, revealing smoother skin. They can slo promote the generation of new layers of skin. AHAs help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark spots, but being water-soluble (that is, they dissolve in water) they don't penetrate deeply into the skin.

What to try: Our Tone Brightening Cleansing Gel Foam contains the AHA Citric Acid which tackles pigmentation.

BHAs - Beta Hydroxy Acids

A commonly known BHA example is salicylic acid. This acid is oil soluble and can penetrate under the skin's surface, cleaning out excess sebum from the pores and reducing oiliness. BHA is good for oily skin types as it has a more enhanced ability to clear pores and excess sebum without manual exfoliation.

What to try: Our Hyalu-Cica Brightening Toner contains the BHA Capryloyl Salicylic Acid which treats acne and unclogs pores on oily skin.

PHAs - Polyhydroxic Acids

PHAs are pretty similar to AHAs but are made up of much larger molecules. This makes them much more suitable for sensitive skin. They penetrate at a lower level into the skin and exfoliate in a gentle manner.

What to try: Our Madagascar Centella Toning Toner contains the PHA Gluconolactone, which increases skin moisture while treating anti-aging and dryness.



Acids make the sun much more sensitive to UVA and UVB rays so always use a daily SPF while using acid containing skincare products.

Peels are better to be applied at night when no sunlight is around at all. They are much more aggressive to the skin and you should use them with caution, especially if you have concerns like dry skin, a damaged skin barrier, rosacea or other skin sensitivities. If you are not sure whether new skincare products will suit you, it is better to consult your dermatologist or try a patch test first.

What to try: Our ZOMBIE Beauty Bloody Peel is made up of 17% Glycolic Acid (AHA) and Salicylic Acid (BHA) to exfoliate and unclog pores, treat anti-aging and oiliness and aid anti-pigmentation.