Skincare Matchmaker: How do I use acids?


VELVET is playing matchmaker and answering your skincare questions! Today, we look at chemical exfoliants: acids. Where do you begin?

Question:  I want to start using acids but I'm not sure where to start. I get occasional hormonal acne and my skin has been dry this winter. Will I overdo it with an acid?

VELVET spoke to Natalie Fairchild, facialist at Heyday in the Upper East Side in New York. She recommends acids for different skin types. "I love this question, acids are very good for the skin, from helping with acne, hydration, texture,  fine lines, stimulating collagen and the overall health of the skin," Fairchild says. But, with so many products to choose from and so many different kinds of acids on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide on a starting point.

Fairchild recommends first talking to your esthetician to better evaluate your skin type and which types of acids and acid products would complement your skin and the routine you already have. "For first time acid users (that’s alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids) I personally would recommend using a gentle toner, a blend of lactic acid, glycol acid and sometimes salicylic acid is typical for toners." If you're suffering from dry skin, especially during the winter time, and have occasional acne, Fairchild recommends a toner to include in your routine.

"For acne, we want to keep that top layer exfoliated and get good ingredients into the skin to kill any bacteria." Fairchild suggests products containing lactic or salicylic acid. "Lactic acid also acts as a magnet for moisture bringing it into your skin when it’s in the atmosphere. You can start out by using a toner at night after cleansing, and using once or twice a week to see how your skin handles it. Eventually, you can build up to whatever your skin requires!"

Not all toners are built equally and some can be harsher than others, especially during dyer weather. "Let’s face it everyone is extremely dry and dehydrated this time of year so if it does feel a tad drying, make sure you replenish that hydration, such as with hyaluronic acid and oils, and you’ll be good!"

Whenever you take something away from skin, you've always got to put something back. Try our No. 11 Brightening Serum or Plush Hydrating Melt (now on sale!) after exfoliating. Thinking of incorporating an acid toner?

"Here are some of the popular exfoliating toners that are being talked about: P50 from Biologique-Recherche (very strong), Glow Tonic from Pixie, and Solution from Glossier (I’ve seen great results). There are a lot of other toners out there, and with that being said, there are many other ways to use acids. You can find them in anything, from serums to night creams and exfoliating masks." With so many possibilities, it's so important to find a product that works best for your skin type. Fairchild suggests paying a visit to your esthetician for a consultation!

You can find Natalie at Heyday in Upper East Side. Do you have a Heyday near you? Get a customized facial in their one-stop skincare shop!