Low strength acids: The new high!

Low strength acids: The new high!

I am going to discuss skin brighteners today. These are low strength acids which exfoliate and brighten the skin. Just because they exfoliate, they are not to be confused with the regular natural scrubs you might be familiar with. These are much stronger than a scrub and should be handled with slightly more care than usual.

Low strength acids may or may not cause peeling but that is normal and it just means that they are working correctly, so don’t worry about it. These acids come in different strengths, but in this post, I will only talk about products that are low to moderate in terms of strength. These acids can heal acne, reduce pimples, fade pigmentation, reduce scars, exfoliate, brighten the complexion, tighten pores, hydrate skin and also have anti-ageing properties. There are some rules for using these acids and you should strictly follow them.

  1. Don’t take them lightly and follow the instructions. These acids are not highly concentrated but can still cause minor reactions
  2. Men and women with sensitive skin need to consult a dermatologist before using even light homeacids
  3. A good sun block is a must. It must be used all day, every day, even when indoors and even on a rainy day
  4. Acids should always be applied at night. Avoid using during the day
  5. There is no need to go for extremely strong concentrations, Choose gentle yet effective ones
  6. Even home peels can cause dryness, so apply hydrating lotions or creams during the day
  7. Apply a Vitamin-C serum before applying your moisturizer in the morning Ever C-20 by Salve Pharmaceuticals is excellent and available at all Indian chemists. Or you could try the Obagi Vitamin C serum. It comes in different strengths and helps in healing and brightening the skin
  8. For best results, you must apply the acid for minimum 6 -8 weeks
  9. Stop using immediately if you suffer any allergic reactions
  10. It is a good idea to consult your dermatologist. He/ she can advise you on how long to continue with the treatment and even strength of the acid.

Here are some recommendations for hydroquinone free acids you could try:



I find the glyco line of products extremely effective. Derived from sugarcane, this one is a brilliant exfoliator. The best way to see maximum benefits – start with low strength and slowly build up. This low strength glyco won’t make your skin peel too much and won’t cause extreme redness. It is great one for all skin types except for very sensitive skin. This cream based formula works on spots, acne, acne scars, pigmentation and fine lines and open pores. It should be used at night all over the face and neck but avoiding eye area. After finishing the first tube of 6% you can always go up to 12% if you want to try a stronger peel.


Rs. 7057

Lactic acid is another brilliant home peel derived from milk. There are lower risks of an allergic reaction from this acid. It is great for fading pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles and dullness it also stimulates collagen production. Sunday Riley all in one lactic acid treatment can also be used as a face mask for immediate radiance. It is potent but gentle and does not cause excessive redness and flakiness. It can be applied twice a day and is great for all skin types except for very sensitive skin. It is paraben and sulphates free. I use this occasionally as my day treatment. The results are instant and visible.


Rs. 295

Kojic acid is derived from different species of fungi like mushrooms or created during sake brewing process from fermented rice. It helps to fade pigmentation, remove oil and dirt, exfoliate, brighten skin, reduce acne. It is fantastic for oily skin. This cream contains 2% of kojic acid derived from Japanese mushrooms along with liquorice root extract. It is low strength and gentle and very effective. It can be applied twice a day but I recommend that you apply it only at night.


Rs4700 Image Credits: kiehls.com

Kiehl’s Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate uses Quinoa husk extract combined with fruit acids, cactus extract and phytic acid to formulate an effective overnight peel. This peel accelerates cell turnover to reveal refined skin texture, improved skin tone and softer, more radiant skin.

Try out some of the brands mentioned here and let me know how they work for you. Write to me below or using #stayrealstayyou on Instagram @shagunkhanna