5 Acids to Use In Your Skincare Routine

Skin-care enthusiasts know that the key to fresh, gorgeous skin — the glow recipe, if you will — is all about exfoliation. To unclog pores and remove dead skin cells so that your serums, masks, and moisturizers can do their thing, it’s all about a good chemical exfoliator. To help you find the best one for your skin, we’ve rounded up some of our go-to sloughers to help clear and smooth using a variety of active acids. Here, your guide to “doing acid,” from salicylic to glycolic to lactic.

Salicylic Acid


The Common Labs Real Jel Masks in Vitamin B, C, and E all boast salicylic acid, one of the most well-known skin clarifiers around. It’s prized for its ability to eradicate acne and clear clogged pores. The addition of skin-healthy vitamins in these masks add anti-aging and revitalizing qualities. Each mask is formulated with a different vitamin, so you can pick and choose which one is best for you and your skin type. No matter which one you end up trying (you’ll probably want to try them all), the acid-vitamin combo will leave you with glowing, radiant, petal-soft skin.

Willow Bark


Boasting the same exfoliating benefits as salicylic acid, willow bark is a natural ingredient that gently tones and purifies. You can find it in the Leegeeham Grow Tea Tree 70 BHA Toner, a clarifying toner infused with gentle acids to unclog congested pores while hydrating and soothing breakout-prone skin. In addition to willow bark, it’s also formulated with BHA to gently exfoliate dead skin cells inside pores and a whopping 70% tea tree extract to leave your skin calm and balanced.

Glycolic Acid

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The Do You Primary 2-Step Milk Peeling Kit uses glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells gently. (Noticing a theme here?). The standout ingredient, soy milk extract, provides the skin with nourishment in addition to hydration. Step 1 of this kit features an oversized Q-tip saturated in an AHA complex to gently peel away dead skin cells while simultaneousl calming skin with soothing hydration. Apple fruit water helps to soothe irritation and control sebum production during the exfoliation process. Step 2 locks in moisture with a soothing and calming sheet mask that contains green tea, chamomile, and rosemary leaf extracts. Rejuvenated, brighter skin ensues.

Lactic Acid

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Blithe Patting Splash Mask incorporates lactic acid and and botanical extracts to help re-texturize and smooth skin instantly while increasing radiance over time. It’s formulated with antioxidant-packed berries to help leave skin looking brighter and more youthful. The splashing-then-patting action helps the mask to absorb quickly and efficiently for a quick and easy treatment that makes this face mask practically an on-the-go treatment.

Lactobionic Acid


Lactobionic acid is a mild PHA that gently exfoliates the skin while imparting hydration, making it a great choice for those with skin on the drier side. It works on the surface of the skin to “unglue” dead skin cells without the irritation typically associated with straight-up exfoliators like BHAs and AHAs, making this radiance boosting treatment ideal for daily exfoliation. Make P:rem Radiance Peeling Booster contains this special slougher in a watery, radiance-boosting daily hydrating toner. It gently retextures skin while calming and hydrating.

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