The New Natural-ish Beauty Obsession Is Acid — These Are 7 Brands Doing It Right
If putting acid on your face sounds scary—congratulations! You understand the risks and rewards of skin care. The concept of the "acid peel" admittedly sounds like a beauty relic from the 1990s (only one of these products uses "peel" in its title), but hear us out: The new guard of acid in skin care is different. This slew of new natural and natural-ish products may make your face tingle upon application, but they're meant to enhance your glow rather than incite a peeling frenzy. Here are the newest nontoxic acid products you need to know about:
Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion
Instagram’s favorite adaptogen "dust" brand has branched out into beauty with a three-product line aptly dubbed "Beauty Shroom." The Exfoliating Acid Potion, which launched July 26, is 25 percent acid, a five-acid complex containing glycolic acid, phytic acid, salicylic acid, beta-hydroxy acid, and lactic acid, which work in tandem with the brand’s signature adaptogens like reishi.
Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion, Moon Juice, $38
Herbivore Botanicals Prism Glow Activating Potion
Part essence—a Korean-beauty term for a product that's lighter than serum but heavier than toner—and part serum, this liquid "potion" contains a 5 percent fruit acid blend plus hydrators that work together to resurface the texture of the skin. Apple (malic), bilberry (lactic), sugar cane (glycolic), and orange (citric) work together with other plant-based ingredients like kakadu plum and willow bark to brighten, smooth, and gently exfoliate. Look good and feel better: One dollar of every Prism Glow Potion sold is donated to the Trans Women of Color Collective.
Prism Glow Activating Potion, Herbivore, $62
Peach & Lily Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask
Founder of Peach & Lily Alicia Yoon launched a new line of skin care in July of 2018 because she herself has eczema and wanted to create a potent, "worry-free" K-beauty product line that wouldn't irritate sensitive skin. Of all the products in the line, this mask was the first to sell out—and currently has a waiting list. The acid composition of the mask is 10 percent AHA, 0.5 percent BHA, and blue agave, which gives the mask its blue-green hue naturally.
Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask, Peach & Lily, $43
Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel
Made with 15 acids—more than any other product on this list—this overnight serum balances hydrating and exfoliating acids so the skin doesn't overdry or peel. It has more than 1,000 five-star reviews on its own website from users of all skin tones, types, and ages—women over 65 frequently post that they love this product for its skin-smoothing properties.
Overnight Resurfacing Peel, Beautycounter, $58
Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum with Echinacea GreenEnvy™
A 15 percent blend of AHAs like lactic, glycolic, citric, and fruit acids; salicylic acid, a BHA; and flower acids gives this potent-but-gentle serum a moisturizing edge. It’s also the only product on this list to include honey as a hydrating, calming buffer from the acids. It launches on August 22 and sports the Clean at Sephora seal, which means that it's formulated without sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban.
Omorovicza Acid Fix AHA BHA Treatment
Omorovicza is known for the Hungarian water they include in their products, and this one is no different. Using glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acid, this serum also includes plant-based ferments that can smooth, brighten, and clarify the skin. It, too, sports the Clean at Sephora seal.
Acid Fix AHA BHA Treatment, Omorovicza, $115
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial™
It wouldn't be a great acid roundup without including Drunk Elephant, a super-effective, nontoxic brand that really started to break down the stigma around acids and clean beauty. Baby Facial has reached cult status, and it's well-warranted. The product has proved to be a catalyst for skin change for not only mbg’s beauty editor but thousands of others who have experienced it.
T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial™, Drunk Elephant, $80
Lindsay Kellner is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist based out of Brooklyn, NY. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and psychology at New York University and earned a 200-hour yoga certification from Sky Ting. She is the co-author of “The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide to Ancient Self Care,” along with mbg’s Sustainability Editor, Emma Loewe.