Mythbusters: Let’s talk about Acids, Myths and Outright lies


Acids burn you, right? My skin is sensitive to acids. Acids are bad. Acids are harsh, right?


Actually alkalines (the opposite of acids) can burn. Such as sodium hydroxide, the “will-eat-holes-in-skin” ingredient neutralized by the fatty acids found in plant and animal oils, and when so combined creates soap.

Acid is simply a scientific word that has nothing to do with whether the ingredient is harsh or gentle, causes burning or healing, or any other such myths.

Ever heard of linoleic acid? It’s an extremely good for you entity found in olive oil, for one. It’s one of the omega 3 fatty acids you may have heard all about already that are good for your heart, loaded with antioxidants, and helps fight aging in skincare especially when combined with vitamin C.[1]

Here’s another acid: salicylic acid. This amazing gift from nature (from Latin salixwillow tree, from the bark of which the substance used to be obtained),[2] is one of the most common beta hydroxy acids or BHAs that, when formulated correctly and with the correct ph balance, can be one of the most effective anti-acne and even anti-aging ingredients known to mankind. That’s not an exaggeration, at least not in my mind. But there are still people who will tell you it’s too harsh (it can be), or it’s not natural (it’s from willow tree bark), that it’s a nasty chemical and should be avoided, or other such myths. “Don’t use chemicals – use nature’s gentle healing to fight your acne!” more than one “natural” skincare line will advertise. These range from anything from the oil cleansing method to products that actually contain salicylic acid but also contain less recognized plant extracts that give the product its “natural” sounding list of ingredients.

The trick is to find a salicylic acid which is gentle enough for your skin, has the correct ph balance (may I recommend CLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid for acne?), and letting your skin adjust. Whenever you introduce a new skincare product to your skin, it has the potential to throw your skin off balance for awhile, especially when you’re trying to combat oily skin or acne. When I switched from Regular Strength to Extra Strength, I wanted to return the product at first, but being lazy, I decided to just switch to using it every other day. My skin adjusted, my acne fled, my face got even clearer, and now I think it’s just right for me. This perfectly formulated product has the right ph balance to let it work. It keeps shedding old skin cells and combats bacteria to keep my skin brighter and clearer than it’s ever been since I was 15. (I did not suffer from teenage acne). Start on the Regular strength and if that’s still too strong, then move to every other day. But don’t give up just because of the natural tendency your skin may have to react and flake a little in beginning use. Just cut down until you reach the right balance. Over time, you may even be able to use it more often without causing a reaction.

Read more Mythbusters: Myths, Ignorance and Outright Lies

Did you know? I’m doing a Trades of Hope Nepali Aqua Scarf Giveaway! You could win this beautiful scarf. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Mythbusters: Let’s talk about Acids, Myths and Outright lies

  1. Do you have any experience with the Paula’s Choice 2% BHA and how that compares to the CLEAR exfoliating solution?


    1. Hi! I don’t yet, but when I asked customer service they said that the CLEAR 2% would sink into the skin more and possibly be more effective so that’s what I chose. Hope that helps!


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