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Exfoliating acids, such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), have become essential tools in the skincare arsenal for those seeking a radiant, glowing complexion. These skin resurfacing superheroes offer unique benefits, working wonders on the skin's texture, tone and overall appearance. Read on to learn more about the answer to flawless skin or skip to our handy chart to learn which acids are right for you.

AHAs like glycolic, lactic, mandelic and phytic acids are water-soluble acids that work primarily on the skin's surface. They gently dissolve dead skin cells, revealing a fresher, more even complexion underneath. AHAs are often preferred for addressing concerns like fine lines, sun damage and uneven skin tone. They leave the skin looking smoother and more luminous, making them a go-to choice for those with normal, dry or sensitive skin.

BHAs, most commonly salicylic acid, are oil-soluble acids that penetrate deeper into the skin's pores. This makes them ideal for treating acne-prone and oily skin types. BHAs work by exfoliating the inside of the pores, preventing clogs and reducing inflammation. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, making them suitable for calming redness and irritation.


One of the buzziest acids in skincare, azelaic acid is a naturally occurring dicarboxylic acid. Its benefits include reducing acne by unclogging pores and minimizing inflammation. It fades hyperpigmentation, evening skin tone. Azelaic acid also combats rosacea by calming redness and flushing. It's gentle, suitable for all skin types, and enhances overall skin texture and radiance.


When incorporating exfoliating acids into your skincare routine, it's essential to use them with care. Rhea recommends using exfoliating acids in the morning followed by a barrier-protecting moisturizer and a mineral SPF of at least 30 as freshly exfoliated skin is more photosensitive. Powerhouse ingredient retinol is the most important step in your PM routine. While not a true “exfoliant,” retinol is a keratolytic that encourages cell turnover and is best supported by little else than a simple barrier-protecting moisturizer (like Squalane Nourishing Cream). It’s most effective to use exfoliating acids in the AM and retinol in the PM so you can reap all of the glow-getting benefits of these transformative ingredients while not over-challenging the skin all at once.


Exfoliating acids are powerful agents that can transform your skin's texture and appearance. When used correctly, they can help you achieve a smoother, more radiant complexion, whether you're addressing visible signs of aging or acne-prone skin. View our full assortment here. Always consult with your skincare professional to determine the best exfoliating acid and regimen for your unique skin needs. Not sure which acids are right for you? Email us at or call/text us at 203-356-5658.