Gimme Five Friday – Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Leslie here!

If there is one thing that I love to talk about it – it would be skin care. I almost enjoy the taking off of all my makeup and the steps I go through before bed more than putting the makeup on! Taking care of your skin is so important at any age (and I wish I had known earlier in life). But! It’s not too late to start taking care of your face.

One of the most essential ingredients in a skincare routine is an acid of some sort. Acids can help almost any type of skin concern-if you know which ones to look for! Here are five acids to look for, and what product I like to use that has that acid in it. Keep in mind though- there a hundreds of products out there with these acids in them, and I only have one face. So I can’t say that I have tried everything, these are just my picks of what I have been able to try!

Glycolic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid, or AHA. It is derived from sugar cane, or can be produced synthetically. It is a common, gentle skin exfoliator, and is the common acid found in in-office peels. However, I think it is more effective in smaller percentages on a more consistent basis. Finding a daily glycolic acid wash, or low percentage toner, will make your skin GLOW! Daily, or rotating use of glycolic acid will:PIXI-GLOW-TONIC.jpg

  • clear blocked pores, and cause them to appear smaller
  • reduce fine lines and signs of premature aging
  • help to fade acne scars
  • allow for better absorption of the other items in your skincare routine.

Pixi Beauty (available at Target) has a great variety of glycolic acid products. I like to use the Glow Tonic, with 5% glycolic acid, but they also carry a 10% Overnight Glow Serum and 20% Glow Peel Pads.

Lactic Acid Lactic-Acid-Favorite-Sunday-Riley-Good-Genesis another AHA that is often used in conjunction with glycolic. It, like the aforementioned, is a great chemical exfoliator. It will greatly improved the texture of your skin, as well as help reduce fine lines and to firm up the skin. Regular use of topical AHAs will help to stimulate collagen production in your skin, causing a plumper, younger complexion.
After ONE application of a product containing lactic acid, I could see and feel dramatic results.

My absolute favorite, skin care bestie, lactic acid choice is the Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, with 5% lactic acid. I talked a lot about this item in my April Favorites. Another great lactic acid treatment I have tried is the REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. As you can tell from the name, this has both glycolic and lactic (in fact 4 acids total), but like I said, they are often found together.

Salicylic Acid is one I have used the most over the course of my lifetime (hellooooo puberty and acne!) This is a Beta Hydroxy Acid, of BHA. It’s most well known use is for the treatment of acne. It is an exfoliant, but it also has anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties- making it great for bad breakouts. Using a daily application of salicylic acid has caused my breakouts to all but disappear. In the off chance I get a couple assholes that want to come out and play, I can go for a spot treatment with higher percentage to zap it away. I personally prefer salicylic acid to benzoyl peroxide for everyday and for spot treatments, as benzoyl peroxide only exacerbates the issue and caused my breakouts to be worse.Salicylic-Acid-Favorites

For everyday application, I really love both the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant and the Murad Advanced Acne & Wrinkle Reducer, which has .5%.I have also tried the Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment With 2% BHA and Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant from Paula’s Choice, and they are both great as well. In fact – anything you get from Paula’s Choice or Murad will probably be effective- they are two of the best skin care brands in my opinion!

For a spot treatment, I go plain and simple: Up & Up Acne Spot Treatment (Target brand version of the Clean & Clear.) This has for years been my go to and has never let me down!

Hyaluronic Acid is not one that I can use often because of my skin-type. But I wanted to include it here, because it has some really great benefits for those with dry or aging skin. Hyaluronic acid is a compound that is already occurring in our bodies and skin. It is fantastic at moisture retention. One gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water! This is one reason it is better suited for those with dry or aging skin, when you need to replenish your skin’s moisture. It can also strengthen your skin’s barrier, causing it to look plump and youthful!

In the dryer months, I can get away with mixing a drop or two in with my night cream, but this is not something a person with oily skin needs everyday. I was fooled when I first tried it because it dries down so matte and weightless- I tried it in the morning before makeup. I was a GREASEBALL. So- nighttime only for me, for sure.


I currently have only tried Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum and the Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster, but there are many products that contain the acid, so you still get the benefits without full on moisture injection!

Fruit Acids & Enzymes work similarly to AHAs and glycolic acid. the exfoliate and brighten to complexion, and some varieties help with inflammation. They are the most gentle type of exfoliation, with scrub and micro dermabrasion being the most harsh. This type of exfoliation is great for those with extremely sensitive, or dry flaky skin that still need a regular exfoliant.


My two favorites are the AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel made with papaya enzymes and the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Pineapple Enzyme Facial Mask, made with pineapple enzymes. These types of enzymes are jam packed with antioxidants as well, to protect from free radicals and keep skin looking young!

BONUS ROUND – multi-acid peel:


I steered clear of ‘acid peels’ for so long because the name of it just sounds absolutely terrifying. I envisioned the top layer of my skin just peeling off in sheets, like a horror movie. But that is not what happens with peels! (maybe stronger, in-office peels will, just as a warning. I have only used those suitable for sensitive skin)

I recently picked up the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Smooth & Radiant: Peel + Brighten from Sephora. This is a 14 day ‘trial’ of sorts for the 2 step peel plus a serum to follow up with. If we’re being honest here, I didn’t need a whole 14 days to tell that I absolutely love this stuff. After one use I could see a major improvement in the texture of my skin and appearance of my pores! The acid peel has 6 different acids in it! Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Malic Acid, & Citric Acid. If you can, I would highly recommend this trial kit, or any of the others they offer!

So now that I dropped that knowledge bomb on you – go do some acid! It IS the weekend!


8 thoughts on “Gimme Five Friday – Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

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