Drop Some Acid (Into Your Skincare Routine)

Photo by Eric Shih

Let’s recall the middle school (and even high school) days of using the tried and true St. Ives apricot face scrub; the one-stop-shop to remedy any and all skin blemishes or concerns. But let’s face it, as we age our skins’ needs expand beyond the help that the orange and white bottle can offer us.

Photo by Eric Shih

As it turns out, the answer to our adult skincare woes can be reduced, and even solved, by using chemical acids. While the use of acids in skincare products is not a new trend, it may seem that way, as beauty and skincare companies have been recently employing these ingredients as the main advertisement in their packaging (and for good reason). Think about the last time you got a facial, your skin was glowing, smooth and even. To achieve those results, your aesthetician used a cocktail of vitamins and acids.

Photo by Eric Shih

While beauty store acid-based products are less potent than spa-grade formulas, they are still effective and definitely worth the purchase. We’ve all definitely seen the words “salicylic,” “glycolic” and “hyaluronic” on packaging, but does anyone actually know what they mean for our skin? VALLEY is going to break down the world of acids for you.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is classified as a keratolytic agent, which means it helps to reduce redness and swelling of mild to moderate acne/breakouts. When applied to your face, salicylic acid works to unplug your pores, minimizing the appearance of pimples and helping to speed up the recovery process. This acid also aids in shedding dead skin cells for a brighter, softer, more texturally even complexion.

VALLEY recommends:


Balance it All Essentials Set                    Super Spot Remover                          Acne Facial Cleanser 

Glycolic Acid

Next up is glycolic acid, which is classified under AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids), a group of active compounds. This acid is able to penetrate your skin deeply because it contains the smallest molecules within AHAs. In turn, this acid is most effective for the treatment of fine lines, blackheads and excess oil production. Glycolic acid reacts with the top layer of your skin, providing even exfoliation and cell turnover, which reduces signs of aging, as well as hyper-pigmentation from acne scarring.

VALLEY recommends:


Glycolic Foaming Cleanser                      Acid 7% Toning Solution                       Glycolic Fix Extreme Pads 

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a sugary molecule that cs. We know what you’re thinking … if your body already naturally produces hyaluronic acid (HA), then why add more topically? Well, as we become older our bodies lose their ability to retain moisture, so adding HA into your routine plumps up your skin, while also keeping it hydrated.

VALLEY recommends:


Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5               Hydro Boost Water Gel                           Hydrating Cleansing Serum

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid, just like glycolic acid, is part of the AHA group and provides the same benefits: softening of skin, evening of skin tone and texture, fading of acne scars, etc. However, what makes lactic acid different from glycolic, is that it is less irritating for those who have more sensitive skin. The reason why lactic acid is more gentle than glycolic acid is because it doesn’t penetrate as deeply into the skin, working mostly on the top layer of your skin.

VALLEY recommends:



Pore-Balance Facial Sauna Scrub                Facial Radiance Pads                   Lactic Acid 10% + HA

As with any introduction to a new skincare treatment, VALLEY recommends that you consult your dermatologist or aesthetician to ensure that the product is right for your skincare needs.


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