Why I don’t use Skincare Acids

Why would you even want to use an acid on your skin? Isn’t it dangerous?

And if you live a clean and healthy lifestyle, do you even need to use acids?

Good questions.

Hello, I’m Wendy. I don’t use ‘acids’ on my skin – why?

The media will tell you, Of course you need acids, they exfoliate your skin!

And aren’t we meant to Tone with an acid toner as Step 2 in the Holy Grail of  Cleanse-Tone-Moisturise?

I don’t use acids to exfoliate and I don’t use acids to tone my skin either.

Yes my mother and granny swore by Toner. I used Toner as a spotty-faced teenager.

But I haven’t used a Toner  in almost 20 years.


First of all, I have no need of a toner.


I use hydrosol-based products that already look after my skin’s pH.

Jardin de Fleurs main ingredient is geranium hydrosol, which is the skin-perfect acidity for a healthy skin biome.

And then I use Drench facial tonic to support my collagen – again its bursting with skin-perfect acid hydrosols, aloe, vitamins and minerals.

Same thing with¬† with my moisturisers, Heart of Eternity, Proposal in Paris and Ultra Radiance. Not a drop of neutral pH tap water there friends, that’s why they work so well.

So what do I do for skin-exfoliating then?

Lets’ say  my face, shoulder or back feel in need of a little lift when seasons change or from humid weather or wearing many layers in winter, what then?

Do I use a sugar scrub on my cheeks?

Nooooooo! That would wreck my complexion. Sheesh.

I use Harmony facial scrub which is based around Lavender hydrosol, so it has the natural skin-loving slightly acid  pH.

Because Harmony is made with gentle bamboo spheres, it doesn’t shred skin with rough surfaces from other natural options like sugar and salt crystals. Bamboo is also biodegradable  No harming the oceans or sea animals  with icky plastic microbeads. (Not to mention the nasty side effects from hormones disruption from plastics!)

So zero chemical acids that cause skin sensitivity.

Instead gorgeous flower hydrosols distilled either by me here in my own copper still or sourced direct from artisan distillers on their flower farms.

There are no down-sides to using flower hydrosols – my skin isn’t made sensitive to sunlight, as they would be from acids.

Rosewater is naturally slightly acidic, same thing for lavender distillate. They are Ph-erfect for happy skin.

weighing copper pot with calendulal flowers for distilling into hydrosol hydrolat
fresh calendula flowers going into the still

I’m wondering whether I should rename my flower distillates Flower Acids? What do you think?

Acids used in skincare

There are many acids used in skincare with the most common being hydroxy acids (alphas, beta and poly) , retinoids and enzymes.

I use Hyaluronic Acid which is a misnomer as it isn’t really an acid, it’s a neutral sodium salt.

Alpha hydroxy acids include glycolic, lactic and malic acids. Lactic acid is often used in moisturisers to change the pH – it has a moisturising effect in low doses and is said to reduce wrinkles and tighten pores. If you ever wondered why Goats Milk Soap is so good on skin… it’s the lactic acid inside milk that has the skin loving effect!  Lactic acid in high doses  is often used in foot scrubs and peels.

Natural sources of malic acid are of course apples! Apples are called Malus in Latin. Other sources are cherries, apricots, cranberries, peaches, rhubarb, plums, tomatoes, pears, pineapple, gooseberries, watermelon, lemon, blackberries, strawberries, guava, mango,  and raspberries.

The best known beta hydroxy acid is salicylic acid, said to unclogs pores, help to eliminate blackheads and speed up healing process of pimples and irritation. However, I used Clearasil religiously during my spotty teen years and my spots never improved!  Only when I stopped using Clearasil did my skin improve. (Read the full story on my About Page).

If you have acne, you need to look at what you eat. Turmeric, cumin, oregano, curry, paprika, meadowsweet, white willow, avocado, olives, mustard,  blackberry, almonds, pistachio, macadamia, pine nuts, spinach, thyme, rosemary, violets  and rosemary have natural salicylic acid content.

Poly hydroxy acids include lactobionic acid and gluconolactone.  I’ve used Gluconolactone in a preservative system before.


Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that speed up cell renewal. They also slow down collagen breakdown and act as anti-oxidants to soak up free radical damage.

But Retinol tends to be irritating and drying to skin causing redness flaking and discomfort.  Massive downside.

Instead I recommend you use a natural retinol alternative that does not have the nasty side effects. Rosehip is excellent

These natural options are really good for older skin or skin prone to wrinkling. They also are packed with nutrients that feed your skin, so think of them as a superfood smoothie boost.


Now this is something you are free to try at home – it’s also fun as you can use foods from your pantry.

I’d suggest eating the fruits and then wiping the inner peel onto a your freshly washed face.

I’ve used papaya peel for it’s natural Papain,  and pineapple for it’s  Bromelain, although I don’t eat pineapple often as I find it overly acidic. I’ve heard you can use  Kiwi, for it’s Actinidin.

How they work is that the digestive enzymes loosen the dead cells on the surface of your skin.

Leave the sweet sugary juice on your face for 10-20 minutes then wash off with tepid water.

Don’t do this wearing a new frock tho! It can be drippy and messy.

Here are some more tips for you:

Got scarring? You need this

Your skin needs this daily

The acid that isn’t an acid

Japanese beauty secret

wendy gardner

About Me

Wendy Gardner

Skincare specialist helping business women look and feel their best through menopause. 🌺Potent skincare handcrafted with premium organics.🧴✨Trusted Advisor for Introverts, Empaths & HSPs🌌

Diploma in Aromatherapy (ITHMA London, 2003)

Usui Reiki Master.

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