Dropping Acid: Making Chemical Exfoliation Work for Me

01 Dropping Acid

Acids and I have a long turbulent history together.

Most recently, I flirted with Biologique Recherche’s P50 Lotion (see my beginner’s guide to buying P50), Sunday Riley Good Genes (40% lactic acid), and Pixi Glow Tonic (5% glycolic acid).

Before that, I had regular rendezvous with Neova Reveal Exfoliator gel (20% glycolic acid) and Peter Thomas Roth 10% glycolic acid toner (link to my review).

The appeal of uncovering new baby skin after sloughing off the top layer–with acne marks, sunspots, large pores, forehead lines, and slight textural imperfections–was undeniable.  And when you regularly follow Caroline Hirons–a big proponent of acid toners as a regular part of a routine–it’s hard not to feel as if you’re handicapping your skin’s full potential when you omit acids. It’s like writing blog posts instead of the brief that’s due tomorrow and still expecting to get that promotion.  ::quickly looks away::

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pHind Out the Truth: Using pH Test Strips for Skincare – A Review of pH Dip Sticks

At this point in my life, using pH test strips is the closest thing I’ll get to an adult science fair.  It’s strangely gratifying when you successfully match up a test strip to the color guide.

Before I get into my experience using these strips, let me start at the beginning.  I had heard vaguely here and there about pH in skincare, such as the pH level a product must be at for optimum efficacy.  But only recently did I start learning about the natural pH of skin (it’s slightly acidic) and its importance to the skin’s moisture barrier.  Skin & Tonics did a great post explaining this concept.  Since I have skin on the drier side, I paid attention and basically agonized for a day over whether my skincare was destroying my moisture barrier.

Anyway, I decided to stop agonizing, bought these paper pH strips, and began testing away!

01 pH Test Strip Review
Unused strip resembles a pH of 5 on the diagram

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