Acid? On my FACE?

There's been a hell'uva lot of hype that has burst onto the beauty scene surrounding Glycolic acid and Hyaluronic acid. Now, I know this isn't particularly new, but whilst I've been aware of it, I, like many others, have been terrified at the thought of putting something with 'acid' in the name on my skin. Many chemistry lessons of my youth embedded the message 'acid = bad' hence, the fear. However, on my quest for bright, clear and plump skin, it seems those fear-inducing ingredients could be key. I'll try to keep this relatively concise and non-scientific but no promises I'm afraid!

So, now to skim over why Glycolic and Hyaluronic acid are such wonder ingredients..
Hyaluronic acid (H.A) boasts anti-aging properties meaning plumpness and brighter skin come part and parcel. It's a natural ingredient that is found throughout the body which is broken down as we age; more so if we have an unhealthy diet or smoke. Reinstating this ingredient into our skin as we age means we can combat ageing skin and reduce winkles, lines and a dull looking complexion. To put it simply, our epidermis (thin layer of tissue under the skin) is like a sponge; in the gaps of the sponge is where Hyaluronic acid sits. By feeding our skin products full of H.A, we are essentially 'filling' the gaps of the 'sponge' that is our skin. Hyaluronic acid is able to absorb more than 1000x its weight in water, so preventing our natural H.A from declining is vital if we want to keep our skin ultra moisture tight and our epidermis nice and 'thick' rather than brittle.
Voila - youthful, plump and bright skin. My post on Rodial's Dragon's Blood Moisturiser talks about how well I got on with the product and the change I've seen in my skin - this is due to wonderful H.A.

Glycolic acid is also a mighty ingredient when it comes to tackling our epidermis. It targets the lipids that have binding properties which are the cause of dead skin cells hanging around. Keeping scientific speak at a very minimum, Glycolic acid encourages cell turn over, meaning it is used as a chemical exfoliant. Rubbing harsh granules against your skin is a distant memory, these chemical exfoliants tend to be used about twice a week after cleansing at night. The idea is essentially that it nibbles away (technical term) at dead skin cells as you sleep, meaning you wake up with brighter, tighter skin. Don't be afraid of this 'tightening' idea.. I don't mean that horrible tight sensation you get after using certain cleansers. This leads me on to mention that using exfoliants containing Glycolic acid does not require a chase up with moisturiser. The idea is that it encourages your skin to pump out more Hyaluronic acid which makes the skin so moisture-tight, a moisturiser is not necessary, the product can just be left overnight to work its magic..

So, admittedly I sound as though I've spoken from quite a bit of experience of Glycolic acid. Truth is, I haven't. This is just what I have gathered from research and reviews, any corrections welcome.. All the same I have used two chemical exfoliants and seen instant results. The only thing holding me back now, is which products to buy?

I had a bit of a test-run of the Cane + Austin Retexturising Treatment Pads the other day. The tingly sensation felt as though my skin was really being treated by the product and was noticeably brighter the next day. My pores also seemed smaller although I may have been over inspecting and overexcited. The only hitch with this product is the hefty price tag of £48. You get 60 pads and use it twice daily. Firstly I feel as though I'd be going through them like they're out of fashion and secondly I'm not sure how I feel about using this product which has 10% Glycolic acid twice, daily. Bit intense?

Algenist Micropolish and Peel is on my Christmas list.. I'm pretty sure this is a happy medium. There are tiny granules in the formula which makes it a little less scary but has the power of other chemical exfoliants. Again, bloomin' expensive at £58 but I am told you use the very smallest amount only twice a week. It is described has having "a 10% acid duo (Alguronic and Glycolic Acid), a 10% fruit enzyme complex and micro-crystals to immediately improve skin texture." The sales assistant in SpaceNK really sold this product to me so I'm hoping Santa overheard..

There are handfuls of products out there, the most popular in the online community seeming to be REN's Radiance Renewal Mask and Alpha H's Liquid Gold. For the most part they boast the same thing, it's just a matter of choosing one which suits your own needs. 

Apologies for the lengthy ramble, I found myself pretty interested by this whole acid situation and wanted to do some digging to find out what all the fuss was about. If you've tried any products worth recommending I'd love to hear about them. xx

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