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Why You Need to Exfoliate with Acids

Why You Need to Exfoliate with Acids

If you’re concerned about the signs of aging, acne, or dull or dry skin—in other words, if you’re human—acids are great for your face. They exfoliate to help you get smoother, softer, glowier skin through a process called cell turnover. Below, our everything guide to acids for your skin.

What Are Acids and How Exactly Do They Work?

Acids are a type of chemical exfoliant. Chemical exfoliants use—wait for it—chemicals to aid in cell turnover. These are not the green bubbling acids you saw on TV as a kid. We’re talking about naturally derived alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), like lactic, glycolic, tartaric, malic and citric acids, as well as salicylic acid (a BHA) and phytic acid—ingredients that often end in “-ic” and result in smooth, glowing skin.

Seaglow Overnight Serum

Go to Bed, Wake Up Glowing

Our new Seaglow Overnight Serum AHA Treatment uses a multi-acid blend with a concentration of over 11% to exfoliate while you sleep so you can wake up with soft, smooth, radiant skin by morning. This “I’ll do the work while you dream'' serum combines five different acids, including...


We use a blend of water-soluble alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) with a concentration of over 9%.

Lactic acid, the star of the show, goes deep into the top layer of skin, loosening up dull skin cells. This iconic acid is amazing for all skin types as it simultaneously helps to maintain balanced moisture levels, and who doesn’t need that?

Tartaric acid, malic acid and citric acid are lesser-known but equally important acids that provide gentle yet powerful exfoliation and help to renew, refine and smooth skin.

Phytic Acid

Seaglow also contains 2% phytic acid, an incredible skin-smoothing exfoliator. It buffs away the top layer of skin to improve texture for healthy, more radiant skin. Bonus: It’s antioxidant-rich.

Why Multiple Acids?

Because in this case, five acids at lower concentrations are actually better than one. Think of lactic and phytic acids as the lead actors in a play and tartaric, malic and citric acids as the supporting cast. Alone they shine bright, but together they create an absolutely brilliant and star-studded production—or one super-powerful and effective serum. Don’t just take our word for it. The proof is in the results!

In a third-party consumer-perception study:

97% said their skin felt softer and smoother*
94% said the serum smoothed the look of pores*
97% said skin felt retexturized**
And 94% said their skin looked (and felt) totally transformed**

Totally transformed? Yes, please!

How Often Should I Exfoliate with Acids?

It depends on the formula. We recommend that you use our Seaglow Overnight Serum once or twice a week, or as needed. The key to healthy skin is maintaining its barrier function. Having too much dead skin on top of the barrier can compromise it, which is why exfoliating with acids is so important. But if you exfoliate too much, you can start to strip away that protective barrier. As with many things in life, too much of a good thing can end up a terrible, red-hot mess. So moderation is key. It’s also why we infused Seaglow with a moisturizing blend of red algae, spirulina, seawater and fermented shiunko oil. As the acids slowly work their way into the skin overnight, these nourishing ingredients minimize any harshness for an absolutely dreamy exfoliating experience. So you can wake up to fresh, soft, smooth and otherworldly glowing skin.

Overnight resurfacing

*Based on a consumer perception study of 32 women ages 37-65 after two weeks
**Based on a consumer perception study of 32 women ages 37-65 after four weeks