Every year when September rolls around, I venture up into the attic to retrieve the suitcase that houses my winter clothes during the summer - unpacking them into my wardrobe and leaving my summer dresses in their place. This year I’ll be doing the same with my skincare. Not lugging them up to the attic, but making some switches that will help my skin weather the cold months ahead. And you should do the same - here’s why. A sudden change in temperature damages our skin’s barrier which means we’re more susceptible to aggravators (like pollution). This can leave skin…Read more
We have to admit, the word ‘acid’ doesn’t exactly sound inviting when we’re talking about things to put on our skin but we swear it is. It’s actually somewhat of a hero. From fruit acids to retinol and hyaluronic acid, we’ve broken down what they actually do.
Fruit acids (AHA)
You’ve probably heard of AHAs, it stands for alpha hydroxy acid (in case you wondered). The best known of these is glycolic acid – a chemical exfoliator found in toners, serums, exfoliators and creams that removes the surface layer of dead skin cells for a smoother complexion. Other AHAs include lactic acid, critic acid and mandelic acid.
Salicylic acid (BHA)
Beta hydroxy acid, otherwise known as salicylic acid, is the number one for fighting acne. BHAs can get deeper into the pores to remove dead skin cells, impurities and excess sebum. While salicylic acid can help to smooth out dry skin, overuse can dry skin out further. Try spot-treating blemishes or, if you suffer from acne, look for a salicylic acid cleanser.
Hyaluronic acid is basically the OG, the acid that enlightened us to how amazing acids are. It occurs naturally within the skin and is a crucial part of our connective tissue. It’s earned its superstar status because of its water-binding ability (one gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six litres of water). Once applied, it penetrates deep into the skin and stimulates the body’s natural production.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
You might not have known this one’s even an acid, but it is. A popular one, too. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and can shield from (and speed up healing from) damage from environmental stressors, like pollution and blue light. Apply Vitamin C at night – when the majority of the skin’s healing is done – to even out skin tone and brighten the complexion.
Azelaic acid isn’t as much of an all-rounder (like hyaluronic acid) but it’s especially good for conditions like acne or rosacea. Azelaic acid reduces the build-up of free fatty acids in the skin and treats inflammation and redness. It’s much milder than AHAs but your skin still needs to get used to it – start by using it every other evening.