The Best Exfoliating Acid For You And Your Skin

Exfoliation is not a dirty word - in fact, we love exfoliation. What we don’t love is excessive exfoliation! We believe exfoliating correctly, with the right acids and at the right intervals is just good skin sense. As we age, our skin’s process of desquamation can slow down, meaning that our skin does not slough off old skin at the breakneck speed of our youth.

In order for us to continue to have our skin proliferate (read: desquamate) at a good rate, we can incorporate more vitamin A into our skincare routines in the form of a serum, like as Skingredients Skin Protein, or the Environ Skin EssentiA AVST range. This range is a step-up system which you might be familiar with, if you have started the process with your Nerd or Nerdette.

You can find out more about this range here. If you are interested in starting your AVST journey, you can book in for your follow-up consultation here.

Exfoliation is an excellent way to ensure that our skin is being helped along in its processes of proliferation.

Your first experience with exfoliation might have been in the teenage years with beady, scented facial scrubs which felt amazing but probably ended up leaving your skin stripped to all heck. If not that, then it’s possible that scrubs which promised to fight breakouts and make your skin cleaner, and, if you can believe it, clearer, too, might have ended up in your shower. The feeling of a scrub it utterly satisfying, but it is not skin-friendly.

With mechanical exfoliants like scrubs, the upper layer of dead skin cells is removed with grit or beads. Chemical exfoliants are the nerdie preference. To use the bricks and mortar analogy, if you imagine your skin to be tiles, mechanical exfoliation buffs the top off the tiles, but chemical exfoliation drips between the tiles to loosen the bonds between them so they come away cleanly.

Many hoomans fear ‘chemical’ when thinking about skincare, but we are all chemical reactions in a chemical world. When it comes to exfoliating acids, you have a few choices!

Glycolic acid

This is an alpha hydroxy acid. It has a very small molecular size which means that it can penetrate more deeply into the skin and prompts skin cells to turn over. It’s perfect for more mature skin, those looking to tackle pigment, and those who find their skin a little tougher and able to handle a harsher acid.

Not ideal for spot-prone hoomans!

Nerdie Pick: NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash


Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid is one of those rare acids which seems to be suitable for almost all hoomans. Suitable for hoomans prone to rosacea as well as thoes prone to acne, it’s suitable for clearing the bumps, lesions, and swelling caused by rosacea and pimples and swelling caused by acne.

Nerdie Pick: REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic

Mandelic acid

Mandelic acid is derived from almonds and is an alpha hydroxy acid which can help with spot-prone hoomans skin! It’s an effective in increasing hydration and firmness, too!

Nerdie Pick: Environ Tri-BioBotanical Revival Masque

Lactic acid

Lactic acid is a large-sized molecule meaning it cannot penetrate as deeply into the pore, so it’s more gentle, yet still effective and perfect if you have more reactive skin. It can help to hydrate your skin and it good for hyperpigmentation and fullness.

It’s best for sensitive skin, ageing skin, pigment, acne-prone skin – essentially most hoomans would benefit from this acid!

Nerdie Pick: Environ Clarity+ Sebu-Lac Lotion

Salicylic acid

A powerhouse beta hydroxy acid which cuts through oil to penetrate the pore and dissolve debris within, this acid (derived from willow-bark, like aspirin) is particularly suited to more oil prone hoomans.

Nerdie Pick: Skingredients Sally Cleanse

If you need a further explanation of exfoliation, we suggest a follow-up consultation with the Nerd or Nerdette team to make sure you’re using the products in a combination that works best for you!