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As much as acids and skin don’t seem like they should ever be put together, when added in the right concentrations, acids can actually have great exfoliating effects (and not in the skin-removal way). You just need to use them carefully.

Be sure to test any acid-containing products you want to use before you slather them all over your face though. If you have sensitive skin, these products might be a little too intense (sorry). You should probably only use one acid product a day; too much of any kind of exfoliating can leave your skin red and raw, so just play it safe. You might not want to use these products every day either. Use them as a weekly skin reset or every other day if it feels better. It’s really up to what you think your skin needs, but be gentle with it.

Also, some of these acids can leave your skin more photo-sensitive and susceptible to sun damage. Just make sure you’re wearing your sunscreen on days you use acidic products.

Alright, with the disclaimers out of the way, here are the acids that will leave you glowing and gorgeous.

Salicytic acid

This acid is an acne-killing machine. It’s generally used to treat mild to medium breakouts (it’s not medical-grade) and can be used on a regular basis for prevention. Use products like Philosophy Clear Days Ahead or The Fab Pore Facial Cloths regularly to prevent breakouts (or even the odd pimple).

Glycotic and Lactic acids

These two are great for brightening skin that’s older or dry. You can use products like Pixi Glow Tonic to brighten and refine pores and a moisturizer like Kate Somerville‘s at night to smooth and exfoliate while you sleep. If you feel like your whole body needs a bit of a peel, NeoStrata Body Smoothing Lotion can do just that.

Azelaic and Mandelic acids

These acids are all about smoothing and refining. Fine lines, wrinkles, discolouration, you name it. Renee Rouleau’s Triple Berry Smoothing Peel will brighten and reduce the look of blemishes. Plus it looks and smells like jam (gotta get those berry antioxidants).

Hyaluronic acid

This acid actually isn’t an exfoliator. Hyaluronic acid is a hydrator that draws moisture into the skin and helps hang onto it. It’s actually a good idea to pair a hyaluronic product with an exfoliator to protect your skin. A great serum to try out is the StriVectin Hyaluronic Dual-Response for a glowy look.

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