How Facial Acids Have Changed My Skin

how facial acids have changed my skin

The term ‘acid’ will never not sound intimidating to me. I mean I know most people are aware that the type of acids in skincare products are obviously very different to the burning your skin off type of acids…but something about that word just scares the crap out of me. Because of that, I’ve always been skeptic about using any kind of acid skincare product and after a certain experience that left my skin red, bumpy and burning (I’m looking at you Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels…) I thought acids were better left out of my skincare routine. Well, like most things in life I was wrong.

Staying away from the products with higher percentages of active acids, I’ve been incorporating much more gentle products with Glycolic and Salicylic acid into my skincare routine and my skin has never looked better. So I take it back, hooray for acids in skincare! Here’s how they changed my skin:


pixi glow mud cleanser

My skin is smoother. 
I’ve been lucky in the sense that unless I’m really breaking out, my skin has never been very bumpy or textured, but it has never felt as smooth to the touch as it has since I started incorporating Glycolic Acid into my skincare routine. Glycolic Acid is meant to give you a ‘smoother, softer complexion’ and oh baby does it do that. I can’t speak for products with a high percentage of the stuff but the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser contains just 5% Glycolic Acid and it has transformed my skin (and that’s not an exaggeration.)
The Pixi Cleanser is one of those products that you may think isn’t doing much, but then you really notice the differences in your skin if you stop using it. When I do use it my skin is baby’s ass soft and my foundation just applies so much easier than it normally does, probably because it’s going onto a much smoother base.
Texture-wise this cleanser comes out like a thick paste and it straight up feels like you’re washing your face with a mud/clay mask,  but when you wash it off you’re left with very smooth skin and for me, I’ve noticed a significant decrease in spots since I started using this as well. The packaging is a little ‘meh’ and leaves something to be desired but I really couldn’t care less because it’s what’s inside that counts. Oh yeah, you better believe this cleanser has hit holy grail status for me.

mario badescu drying lotion


I barely ever get spots/breakouts.
For any breakouts, I used to be an au naturale girl and thought popping on some tea tree oil was the best way to go. Well, turns out that for me tea-tree oil and it’s natural counterparts do diddly squat in terms of stopping spots from popping up and healing active breakouts.
Then Salicylic Acid came into my life in the form of the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and I’ve never found anything as effective as this for healing spots quickly and with minimal effort. You just take a cotton tip, dab it right to the bottom of the solution (don’t shake the bottle!) and apply a small amount to your spots. You let it dry and then it starts working it’s magic.
In the past I’ve experimented with plenty of other spot treatments and things like topical Benzoyl Peroxide treatments but aside from staining my towels (sigh) nothing really helped my skin, they all just irritated it more. So if you suffer from breakouts or even only get the occasional spot I would highly recommend reaping the benefits of a Salicylic Acid product like this one.
alpha-h liquid gold rose
 My skin is all around more even. 

One thing that has been a constant issue and insecurity for me is my pigmentation and post-acne scars left over from when my skin used to be really bad. So even if my skin is doing well, my post-acne scars make it seem like I have active spots when in reality my skin will be completely spot-free and it’s extremely frustrating. I’ve found most products targeted at fading scars to either be serums (which take too long to work for me because I’m impatient) or harsh peels that feel like they’re taking a chunk of your skin off at a time and they leave me with a tomato red face, which I despise. I’ve been very skeptical about the infamous Liquid Gold by Alpha-H but it’s more moisturising sister, the limited edition *Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rose has been a god sent.

I mentioned before that Glycolic Acid is meant to give you smoother, more radiant skin and the mix of Glycolic Acid and other botanical ingredients in the Liquid Gold Rose has given me just that, radiant skin. I’ve been noticing that without makeup my skin lately has an actual glow to it, which I am so impressed with.

After I cleanse, I take some of the Alpha H Liquid Gold Rose on a cotton pad and sweep it over my face and then leave it to dry, applying nothing afterwards to get the full effect and just let the product do it’s thing. This stuff is gentle but really effective. My skin is the smoothest it’s ever been, everything looks much more even and my scars have faded a noticeable amount since I started using this. I mean, it’s not a miracle worker but I feel like this is pretty damn close.


Have you incorporated acid products into your skincare routine?




*Active skin sent me this product to try, this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own (I just really really like this product!).
  • I haven't done so purely because I have sensitive skin that can react to stuff (especially in high concentrations), but I am kinda keen to try out Pixi's Glow Tonic. I'd only want a small bottle though in case I react to either the glycolic acid or witch hazel in it, but I seem to get along ok with salicylic acid & lactic acid (although the latter gives me some kind of reaction at first, just judging from my test of Pixi's Peel & Polish – nothing drastic though, my skin settled down after about 20 seconds).

    Shell // The Novice Life

    • I was really curious about the Glow Tonic as well which is why I bought a mini bottle of it- but I've been too nervous to use it because like you my skin can react to stuff as well. The Pixi Glow Mud cleanser hasn't reacted badly with my skin at all and I think that's because it's only got 5% glycolic acid in it- so I'd really recommend you try that out! 🙂

  • I've been looking into more facial products, never thought to look into products with acids. Thanks for recommending these =o)

    • It does sound a bit odd when you think about it, that acids are part of skincare products nowadays but I think depending on what you get they can be really good 🙂

  • I was previously using a BHA but I barely noticed a difference with it so I stopped using it and noticed that my skin wasn't as even as before. I'm curious what a AHA could do to my skin so that's what I want to try out next. ♥

    • Let me know how the change works for your skin Michelle, I'd be curious to know!

  • Salicylic acid is certainly great one it is especially good for very sensitive dry scalp! xx

  • I definitely agree with what you say about skin being clearer and smoother! My favourite is The Ordinary 5% lactic acid xxx

    • I hear so much about that brand, one day I'd like to try something from them so maybe I'll start with that product!

  • Both my makeup remover and my morning cleanser contain salicylic acid but in small amounts meaning it doesn't cause irritation on my skin and really helps me have less spots and smoother skin! I love them both! 🙂

    • Those sounds awesome Rita, what are those products called? 🙂

  • I haven't tried any of your picks – almost bought the Mario Badescu one but couldn't part with my money for such a small bottle lol. I have really bad hormonal acne and it's the worst; for that I usually use a BHA product (my current one is the Cosrx and it's not super strong so my sensitive skin can handle it) and I have the Neogen Gauze with AHA+BHA. Glycolic acid wise, my fave is the REN one – smells amazing too!

    I know the Alpha-H one has been popular for a while now, defs checking it out when I run out of my current ones…

    Cherie ✿

    • Oh the MB lasts for so long too, I think that's what makes it worth the price for me plus it's the only thing I've found that actually heals spots so I think it's worth it! I used to use the REN glycolic mask but it started making my face really red….no idea why maybe my skin just got used to it and it stopped working for me?

  • Great post, I would love to try more from Pixi and this Mud Cleanser sounds great x

    • You should try it! It's my favourite cleanser at the moment 🙂

  • I'm glad these products worked well for you, I must admit I haven't tried any of them but I will keep them on my radar 🙂 You reminded me of a product I really liked which I stopped using ( must order some now) (Dr Sebagh's deep exfoliating mask) It had Azelaic and lactic acid which was supposed to be very strong- funnily enough my sensitve skin that doesn't even seem to like Ren products loved this product and it didn't irritate my skin at all as opposed to the irritations I've gotten from super gentle products. Go figure – I really try to remember to get samples because you just never know.
    Ps – been loving your photography and the new ways you are presenting things on your blog 🙂

    • Wow that's actually really interesting! Sometimes that will happen with my skin as well, where a strong product works well and something that doesn't irritate anyone else will badly break me out or something like that (that happened to me with the Garnier Micellar Water!). Sounds like you should pick up some more of that mask though!

      Thanks Phoebe! I've been experimenting quite a bit lately with how I compose my blog posts and my photography so it's nice to hear that people are noticing 🙂

  • I'm super curious about Pixi's Glow Mud Cleanser, though more than anything else right now I'm tempted to give Mario Badescu's drying lotion a go. I keep getting mini breakouts on my chin and they're driving me MAD!

    • Try it girl! It's the best thing hands down that I've found for treating spots.

  • I love acids, they really make such a difference for my skin. I use the Pixi Glow Tonic every evening and the Liquid Gold once a week. I've used LD for many years now, I might look into this new version.


    • I've got a mini of the Pixi Glow Tonic but I haven't tried it yet- I must!

  • I have heard so many good things about the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser and the Mario Badescu drying lotion!
    After seeing this post you might've just convinced me to pick them up!
    Thanks for sharing lovely xo
    Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

    Liz | LotsofLoveLiz

    • That's awesome Liz, they're two of my favourite products!

  • So strange how acids have become something I look forward to buying and trying these days! I haven't tried the Mario Badescu lotion, but I really really want to! Love how you've structured this post, girl! x

    Martha Jane |

    • It is a bit odd when you think about it isn't it?

      Eee thanks Martha 🙂

  • Havent tried these products before, but they look really interesting from your review. WOuld love to try them out soon. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

    Jessica |

  • I love the Glow Mud CLeanser and the Alpha H Liquid Gold is my ride or die, great post! Xx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  • I definitely think if you're starting out with acids then a lower concentration is the way to go as going in too strong can cause your skin to react, which obviously it did with the Dr Dennis Gross! Though now that you're using acids regularly you might not react if you were to try the peel pads again. I've used up heaps of bottles of Liquid Gold in the past and still think it's a foolproof glycolic treatment that seems to work for everyone, and although I don't use the Mario Badescu spot treatment, I find that salicylic acid is really effective for me when I get spots so I always have a spot treatment with it in it in my routine.

    • I completely agree, I just wish I'd known that before I bloody tried those peels! Man did I panic when I saw my face like that. Very true that I might not react the same way but honestly…I'm too scared to ever use those again just incase.

      I've been loving salicylic acid for spots as well, I'd love to know which your fav spot treatment is?

  • Surprisingly, I haven't tried any of the products you've mentioned. I've used the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads in the past and that's probably the only chemical exfoliant I've ever used. My skin for most part is good (touch wood) so I tend to keep my routine as simple as possible. But now that I'm getting older, I've definitely been noticing some lines around my mouth, might need to invest in a good retinol soon.

    Lavanya | Elle Files

    • I've never dabbled with retinols before, if you find something good let me know 🙂

  • Oooh I absolutely love this post and will definitely look into these products! I love spending time on my skincare regime as I really see the benefits when I take extra time to look after my skin and use a variety of products which are targeted at different things.

    Loving the photography too – it's simplistic but absolutely gorgeous!!!

    What do you use to add the fonts? Love that too! 🙂

    Hope you're well lovely! 🙂

    Layla xx

    • Thanks Layla! I added these fonts in with Photoshop, I've been using that to do a bunch of stuff lately actually!

  • Your editing is stunning. I too LOVE the pixi glow mud cleanser and love the sound of the MB drying lotion. Really need to try that, even if the colour reminds me of pepto bismol haha.

    Sincerely, Sarah xx