Everything You Need To Know About Acid Exfoliation


chemical exfoliation

The days of rubbing apricot kernels and sugar scrubs on your face are behind us, and we couldn't be more excited! The gold standard for exfoliation is shifting towards chemical exfoliants, bringing fourth a whole new realm of amazing skin care products.

The biggest benefit of using a chemical exfoliant compared to physical is that it is gentler on the skin (yes you read that correct… applying acid to your skin is actually safer), as scrubs can damage the skin if not careful. The term acid can be intimidating to a lot of people, especially if high school chemistry class didn’t leave you with very fond memories. But it’s time to ditch those tainted memories, and start revealing your freshest glow by incorporating an acid exfoliator into your routine.

The Benefits of Exfoliation

Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells that cover up your complexion. By removing this layer of dead skin cells, you are making your skin more receptive to the other products that you apply on top. It will also help to unclog pores, remove roughness, and help to even out your skin tone by removing discolouration. If you suffer from acne, this process can be very beneficial for eliminating bacteria, and preventing further breakouts. It is also great for aging skin, as it can help remove age spots, while increasing new cell turnover for smoother, younger looking skin.

Different Types of Exfoliating Acids

There are two main types of exfoliating acids that you will find in skin care products, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). Both of these acids have a small molecular weight — therefore they can penetrate the skin deeply, and degrade the bonds that hold dead skin cells. AHAs have a stronger water binding ability, which makes them good moisturizers as well as exfoliators. BHAs are oil-binding, so they penetrate the deepest, to get to clogged pores and blemishes.

Serums that combine the two types of acids, with a higher ratio of AHA to BHA are great choices, as the two types of acids can complement each other to target the skin in different ways. We created an all-encompassing exfoliating serum, with a variety of AHAs and a BHAs to target your pores as well as the surface of your skin.


alpha hydroxy acids beta hydroxy acids ahas vs has


Maximum Glycolic Meta Serum: Where Hydration and Functional Exfoliation Meet

There are a variety of brands with an exfoliating serum in their product lineup, so what makes ours different? Our formulation has a proprietary blend of 10% AHAs, which is the highest allowable level of AHAs in a consumer product in Canada. The majority of products on the market contain a lower percentage of acid for the fear of creating a too-irritating product. Yet when created correctly with the right soothing ingredients, a 10% acid can exert maximum benefits to your skin, on even the most sensitive skin types.


glycolic acid serum


Our Maximum Glycolic Meta Serum contains soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as poria mushroom, pennywort, and common reed to prevent irritation from the acid. In a 42 day study, 100% of participants reported zero sensitivity or irritation to this product, while experiencing incredible results in the tone and texture of their skin. Unlike many acid serums on the market, our serum also is made of 100% naturally derived ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about exposing your skin to synthetic acids and preservatives.

We get how confusing product ingredient lists can be, so we have listed all of our ingredients below with information on their function.

Ingredient Glossary

Glycolic Acid (AHA): Known as the king of AHAs, Glycolic Acid is probably the most researched exfoliating acid. It works great for normal to dry skin, and helps to remove dead skin cells at a higher level than BHA’s. It is derived from fruit extracts in our formulation.

Lactic Acid (AHA): Similar to Glycolic Acid, lactic acid is a gentler AHA option, and works to moisturize as well as exfoliate. It is derived from milk extracts in our formulation.

Propanediol: Used to increase the absorption of acids into the skin, this ingredient is important in helping the acids to penetrate deeper. It is derived from corn in our formulation.

Glycerin: Naturally found in fats, this ingredient is used as a water binding agent, to hydrate the skin in combination with the other ingredients in the formulation.

Citric Acid (AHA): A weaker AHA compared to Glycolic and Lactic acid. It works in combination with our other acids to maintain pH, and balance the intensity of the acid.

Malic Acid (AHA): Another weak AHA that is also useful in balancing the pH of the serum.

Salicylic Acid (BHA): This is a BHA that can penetrate the pore deeper than AHAs, so it is beneficial for oily skin types, and acne. While the AHAs in this serum will work on degrading the dead skin on the surface, Salicylic acid will exfoliate inside the pore to decrease bacteria and prevent further breakouts.

Phragmites Communis Extract (common reed): Soothing ingredient to combat the acid

Centella Asiatica Extract (pennywort): Soothing ingredient to combat the acid

Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract (hibiscus): Soothing ingredient to combat the acid

Poria Cocos Extract (poria mushroom): Soothing ingredient, and also an antioxidant to protect against free radicals.

Sodium Lactate: The salt of lactic acid, used to balance the pH of the product.

Hydroxyethylcellulose: Derived from cellulose in plants, this ingredient helps add consistency to the formulation.

Niacinamide: A skin restoring ingredient, beneficial for reducing pore size, and reducing fine lines.

Sodium PCA (pyrrolidone carboxylic acid): Derived from the amino acid proline, Sodium PCA is a hydrating and skin conditioning ingredient

Glycine: As naturally derived amino acid, glycine is used to condition and repair the skin, as it is an important building block in tissue development.

Fructose: As a naturally derived sugar, fructose is used as a water binding ingredient to help promote hydration in the skin.  

Benzyl Alcohol: Derived naturally from apricots, this ingredient is a natural preservative that has proven to be one of the least sensitizing preservatives available.

Benzoic Acid: Natural preservative known to be a less sensitizing agent on the market. 

Shop Maximum Glycolic Meta Serum. 

New to exfoliation, and want to know if it is right for you? Give us a shout at regimencoach@consonant.com and one of our regimen coaches would be happy to help you achieve your best skin!

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