Here’s How To Fix Your Skin If You’ve Overdosed On Acids

Skincare acids and retinol are great, they resurface and renew the skin — revealing the brighter, firmer and plumper skin underneath. But if you’ve ever overdone it with AHAs and BHAs like glycolic and salicylic acids, you’ll know that there are some less than desirable side effects.

From skin-peeling to redness and irritation, here’s what to use if you’ve completely overdosed on acids…

What are the side-effects of using too much retinol or combining too many exfoliating acids?

When you first start to use retinols or AHAs (like glycolic and lactic acid) a certain amount of skin peeling is normal and to be expected. This is essentially your dull, dead and surface skin cells shedding away — to reveal the brighter skin underneath.

However, if your skin is red, irritated and sore, this is a sign of a damaged skin barrier, which can lead to increased sensitivity, moisture loss, inflammation, and breakouts. It might be time to step away from the acids and soothe your skin back to health with the help of some skin healing ingredients.

What ingredients should you look out for?

When your skin barrier is damaged, it can become more sensitive, allowing everything from products to pollution to irritate your skin. It’s important to re-build your skin barrier with cooling, soothing and gentle skincare products that will help re-inforce and protect your skin. Ingredients to look out for include: ceramides, cica, omegas, squalane, and probiotics.

Gentle cleansers

If your skin is irritated, always start with a gentle cleanser. Whether you have dry, oily or acne-prone skin, it’s important to make sure you’re thoroughly cleansing the skin, without stripping or causing further irritation.


Moisturising is key to rehydrating the skin, and providing an extra layer of protection to act as a barrier to outside environmental aggressors and pollutants. A hydrating mist should be the first step in your routine after cleansing. Follow it immediately with a hydrating serum, cream, then an oil or balm.

Masks and treatments

Whilst your skin is healing, treat it to a soothing, cooling treatment. Be careful not to use any products that contain retinol or exfoliating acids — and instead opt for hydrating hyaluronic acids, squalane, and cica.