If you’ve vowed to get serious about skincare this year, now is the perfect time to start using an acid toner. The word “acid” immediately sparks fear in many (and brings up visions of Samantha’s disastrous acid peel in Sex and the City). But exfoliating toners containing acids actually help to target the most common skin concerns. I introduced acids into my skincare routine last year, and have never had such an even complexion. And here are the best acid exfoliators to start with, if you fancy a piece of the action…
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel: Manhattan-based dermatologist, Dr Dennis Gross, created this beloved two-step formula so his patients could use a safe peel at home without needing any recovery time. The pre-soaked pads contain alpha hydroxy acid and target a variety of concerns – including uneven tone, enlarged pores and fine lines and wrinkles. You apply the pads to clean skin daily (which can tingle a little when you first start the treatment), and within days your skin starts to look smoother and more radiant.
The pads are quite expensive, so I just use them a few times a week rather than daily. But that’s still enough to see noticeable results. I started using them in late-spring, last year, and my skin has honestly never received so many compliments.
Pixi Glow Tonic: As with the Dr Dennis Gross Daily Peel pads, Pixi Glow Tonic is a cult favourite within the beauty industry. And the good news is it’s much more purse-friendly. The exfoliating acid toner is suitable for all skin types, and can be applied morning and night, once a day, or as and when you need it.
It contains Glycolic Acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin and leave you with a radiant complexion. And, as with the Daily Peel pads, it should be applied after cleansing and before your serum/moisturiser/SPF/makeup.
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask: If you don’t want to disrupt your existing skincare routine too much, REN’s Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask might be better suited to your needs. Containing Glycolic Acid, it promotes cell turnover and revives the complexion by removing dirt and dead skin cells. But because it’s a weekly 10-minute treatment it’s super easy to add on to your existing routine. And that makes it a great entry-level option if Daily Peel and Glow Tonic don’t feel right for you.
One last thing to note… it’s imperative that you wear a daily sunscreen when using the above products (to be honest, you should do anyway). MALIN+GOETZ, Paula’s Choice, Kheils and Eucerin all have SPFs that are worth checking out.
Do you agree that these are the best acid exfoliators on the market? Or have I overlooked your favourite toner? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts…
P.S. It’s important to note, these are just three products that I find really effective. For more of a deep-dive into acid products, and to learn which acids are best suited to your needs, check out this post by Caroline Hirons.