Before i begin however i will just state that i am no expert, i am not trained and this is just what i know from my own research and trail and error! if your ever concerned, you should of course always ask a professional.
It is also very important to know that if you acid tone you must wear an spf during the day! you should be wearing one regardless, but with acid toning its even more important.
If you havent really heard much about acid toning before you have likely read the word “acid” and been a bit freaked out! when acid toning first became a more mainstream thing everyone had the same kind of reaction, myself included until you learn a bit more about it.
So acid toning is using a toner or pre-soaked pad that contains a gentle AHA or BHA acid in the normal toner stage, and what this does is it gets to work on the skin eating away at dead skin without using very harsh scrubs etc. It also kills off bacteria extremely well so its very good for spots, and helps to fade scars over time as well.
Theres 3 main acids you will find, glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid. glycolic and lactic are AHAs, and salicylic is a BHA, whats the difference? well according to the paulas choice website here AHAs work on the skins surface and are water soluble were as BHAs work down into the pores as well and are oil soluble.
Generally, salicylic acid is seen as the one to go to if you have a lot of issues with spots, blackheads etc as it really helps with that. Lactic acid is rather gentle and not irritating and best for those with sensitive skin, glycolic acid is the one most people know about and the one i use the most, it is the staple of acid toning!
So, when do you use these? well you can use them morning or night, or even morning and night! but personally i mostly use at night and only use in the morning if i feel like i need the boost. This is the first step on your skin after cleansing, and then after this you follow with a skin hydrating mist to start the hydration process.
So, shall we get into my favourites!
These are the 3 i currently use, though i will also list in a second some honourable mentions! i will say, all the ones i use are glycolic based, that is just what i go for personally and is the most commonly found.
So first up is the Lacura daily cleansing pads £4.95 for 2 packs of 60 pads, i could only find the double packs online but as you can see for the price its very affordable! they are a very obvious dupe of the nip + fab pads (mentioned below) and honestly i cant tell too much of a difference between the two! these contain glycolic acid mainly, and also some fruit acids though they are way farther down the list. The way i use pads like this is i buff over my skin with one side then i flip it and go again, i also will buff and spend longer on spots and areas of concern, these are my go to acid toner id say.
Next is actually the only liquid acid toner ive tried, the Freedom Glycolic radiance toner £6.00, now this one is meant to be a dupe for the pixi glow tonic, i havent tried the glow tonic but i like this one! ive had a few bottles of it now on and off and its a really good budget toner if you would rather soak your own cotton pads, again it is glycolic based, the only thing that puts me off using this sometimes is that it can leave the skin feeling a little sticky, i spray straight after so it doesnt matter too much but its just something to be aware of!
Lastly we have the Superdrug Naturally Radiant glycolic acid daily cleansing pads £5.99, now these are basically the same as the lacura or the nip + fab, they are glycolic based with fruit acids much farther down the list pre-soaked pads. Theres not much i can say about these that i didnt say about the lacura ones! these are pretty much the same in almost every way.
So those are the 3 i am currently using, the first one i used and still often my go to are of course the nip + fab glycolic fix exfoliating facial pads £13.59. They are slightly up there in price but almost always on sale somewhere! they also now have an “extreme” version (they are not too much stronger dont panic) a sensitive version and a salicylic acid version as well so theres something for everyone there!
Of course there is the famous pixi glow tonic £18.00, it is again up there in price, but if you dont know were to start and can afford a little bit more you are not going to go wrong with this at all!
Mainly when it comes to acid toning, i would say have a look around and go for what you think suits you, try some things out and have fun! i honestly love acid toning its something i brought into my skincare years ago and im very glad i did.