What You Need To Know About Skin-Care Acids


They’re not as scary as they sound

Hear the words "acid" and "skin" combined, and it's hard not to be a little scared. You probably can't help but picture a bubbly liquid eating through your skin, leaving nothing in its wake. But get rid of any negative connotations, and instead realize that skin-care acids can actually leave your skin free of clogging and breakouts. Not so scary anymore, right?

Skin-care acids come in many forms, meaning formulas. For the most part, though, they work in three ways: exfoliating, slowing down the aging process, and hydrating. We’re going to go through six acids we think you should know about ahead, but first, let’s back up to why people are so threatened by the idea of putting an acid on their face. We blame that episode of Sex and the City where Samantha gets a chemical peel, and it looks like her face has been dipped in literal fire; Laura Dyer, PA-C, blames it, too. Well, kind of.

“I think, historically, people are scared of what the old-school acids were, the big big acids, the TCAs, the phenol peels that were done way back in the day,” she says. “All of that is definitely a misconception in and of itself because, when used properly, they can leave the skin looking super fresh, glowing, improve fine lines, texture, acne, pigmentation, all those different things with zero downtime and no noticeable side effects.”

Anyone can use skin-care acids, but everyone should proceed with caution when using them for the first time. Always start with the lowest concentration, to see how your skin responds, then feel things out from there. Don’t use it every day, cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson warns. Start with every three days to get your skin used to a lower pH. She notes that those with darker skin should be particularly careful because you can create unnecessary hyper-pigmentation or dark marks. “But once you get used to it, they are awesome ingredients, they work like no other,” she says.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, types of acids out there, but we’re going to focus on the ones we think are the most important in terms of benefitting the appearance of your skin. We’re discussing them separately, but, Dr. Harold Lancer, celebrity dermatologist, says it’s not uncommon to see multiple acids on the ingredient list for a product. “If you’re the kind of person who cooks, and your favorite ingredient is pepper, well you don't just put pepper into the water and expect to make it a soup,” he explains. Basically, don't be afraid when more than one acid is in a product; they probably work well together and will only aid you on your path to glowy skin. 

Get to know our favorites and what they do, ahead. 

Many acids fall into the AHA, or alpha hydroxy acid, category, but they all essentially do the same thing, which is exfoliate the skin and slough off dead skin cells. The ones you’ve probably heard of the most are glycolic acid, which is made from sugar cane, and lactic acid, which is derived from milk. (Citric, malic, and tartaric acid are some of the others). When used, AHAs help brighten the skin, smooth fine lines, as well as improve the texture and tone.

It’s a do-a-lot ingredient with great benefits. Though cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller warns about using glycolic acid, especially in high concentrations, as it can be pretty intense. “People need to be careful when working with these ingredients because even though they can be purchased on the internet, they can be quite dangerous,” he says. “High concentrations of these ingredients should be administered only by aestheticians or dermatologists.”

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Which one, though?

Kim Kardashian is suing fast fashion retailer Missguided, claiming that the brand uses her image to spark interest in and sell its clothing. This lawsuit comes a few days after a theory, that she may be selling her own vintage clothing designs to fast fashion brands so that they can rip them off, made its rounds on the internet.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kardashian's attorney Michael Kump writes that "Missguided systematically uses the names and images of Kardashian and other celebrities to advertise and spark interest in its website and clothing." Other celebrities that the brand has tagged on its Instagram include Cardi B and Dua Lipa, along with the other members of the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Kump uses the example of the Yeezy dress that Kim posted to Instagram, which was ripped off by the brand within a couple of hours. "Recently, for example, after Kardashian posted a photo on Instagram of a dress that was made for her... Missguided quickly responded with its own Instagram post... boasting that it would be ripping off the design within 'a few days,'" Kump continues. "Missguided purposefully inserted Kardashian's Instagram username (@KimKardashian) into its post to capitalize on her celebrity status and social media following in promoting the sale of its upcoming product."

Kump also draws attention to the fact that the brand uses Kardashian's name so much that it may lead others to believe that she works with the brand, which, he wants to make clear, she does not: "Missguided's U.S. website has included entire pages that are devoted solely to the sale of clothing inspired by Kardashian, and on which Kardashian's name and likeness are prominently used without her permission to promote the products."

Some are noting that it's suspicious that Kardashian is not suing Fashion Nova, as well, since the brand most recently ripped off a vintage Mugler gown that Kardashian wore. Though it may be harder for Kardashian to make any claims since timestamps have revealed that the dress was made before Kardashian premiered the dress.



Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.

He previously claimed to be a victim of a hate crime

According to reports, actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested by the Chicago Police Department. As CNN outlines, he's facing a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report. If found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison.

The Empire star previously claimed that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime on January 29. He alleged that two masked men attacked him, tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and yelled, "This is MAGA country!" Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo were eventually arrested and brought in for questioning, during which news broke that one appeared on Empire and the other worked as Smollett's personal trainer. Now, according to both men and reports, it's being said that Smollett paid them to "orchestrate" the attack.

Smollett's attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, have issued a statement regarding their client's defense. "Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked," they told Deadline. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

If this is all true, this unfortunate turn of events should in no way take away from the fact that there is an abundant number of racially and sexually motivated attacks happening all of the time. They also still remain vastly underreported, so it's essential to listen to alleged victims, always.