Adding an acid toner to your skincare routine provides multiple benefits, but it can be difficult to know which acid is right for you. Depending on how your skin feels, it’s a good idea to mix acids in your routine. Use our Simple Guide to Acids to figure out what’s right for you.  

THE SIMPLE GUIDE TO ACIDS IN SKINCARE

 

PH

Let’s start by explaining skin pH. The skin’s acid mantle is a very fine slightly acidic film which protects the skin. This is the layer that we are constantly trying to keep balanced. pH measures how acidic the skin’s acid mantle is. Healthy skin is on the weakly acidic side of the pH scale (around 4-6). You will know that your skin has a balanced pH if it has a soft texture and no dry spots. Most reputable skincare products are pH-balanced, meaning that they are formulated with a pH that falls in the range of healthy skin. Using an acid toner (e.g. AHA, BHA or PHA) whose pH is in the acidic range is not a problem – the skin will re-adjust its pH within an hour of application and acidic substances stimulate the skin to produce key substances that it needs to look smooth and supple.  

Hyaluronic Acid

What is it?

Hyaluronic Acid is a carbohydrate found naturally in skin that keeps every aspect of the skin structurally stable and constantly renewed.

When should I use it?

Everyone should incorporate Hyaluronic Acid into their routine every day because as we age, the amount of HA present in the body diminishes. Incorporating hyaluronic acid into your skincare regime is therefore crucial to maintaining a youthful complexion.

What does it do?

Hyaluronic Acid has the capacity to attract and hold vast amounts of moisture. One single molecule of HA can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water. In addition to retaining skin moisture, HA also facilitates collagen production, contributing to anti-ageing benefits for the skin. A good hyaluronic serum will instantly plump up the complexion and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.  

Glycolic Acid

What is it?

Glycolic Acid (most-commonly derived from sugar cane) is a member of the alpha-hydroxy (AHA) group of ‘skin-friendly’ acids. It is powerfully penetrative due to having a very small molecular size.

When should I use it?

At the correct concentrations, glycolic acid is good for virtually all skin types with the exception of those with diagnosed skin conditions, like rosacea. Its main function is as an exfoliant. Use glycolic acid when your skin looks dull and your skin tone appears uneven.

What does it do?

It works at the very top layer of the skin, breaking down the glue that holds dead skin cells together. The result is clearer pores, a brighter complexion and fresher-looking skin.  

Lactic Acid

What is it?

Lactic Acid is a naturally occurring carboxylic acid found in many foods. It is present in milk and according to legend, it’s the reason why Cleopatra bathed in this substance to keep her skin soft and beautiful.

When should I use it?

Lactic Acid is a sensitive skin hero, gentle enough for use on all skin types. It improves the skin’s natural moisture factor, or the means by which the skin keeps itself hydrated. Use a lactic acid toner when your skin feels dry and unbalanced.

What does it do?

Lactic Acid exfoliates the skin by sloughing away dead skin cells on the surface and hydrates skin by enhancing its ability to moisturise itself. Hyperpigmentation fades and fine lines and wrinkles diminish. The visible benefits are smoother, softer skin and a radiant complexion.  

Salicylic Acid

What is it?

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) derived from willow bark. It is more oil-soluble than the AHA acids which makes it highly penetrative. It penetrates deep into the pores of the skin to dissolve skin debris that clogs them.

When should I use it?

Use salicylic acid when you are experiencing blackheads, whiteheads and breakouts.

What does it do?

Salicylic Acid dissolves the type of skin debris that clogs pores and causes acne. It loosens and removes dead skin cells deep in the dermis and helps to dissolve blackheads.  

Top Tips!

Spritzing after toning calms, hydrates and rebalances the skin – and feels great. Just remember that in the case of hyaluronic acid only, it’s better to spritz first as hyaluronic acid will lock-in moisture from spritzing. AHAs and BHAs make you burn faster in the sun. Wear sunscreen while you’re using them and for at a least a week afterwards. Many people find that waiting a few minutes for hydroxy acids to sink in before applying other products gives better results.


Pestle & Mortar’s Exfoliate Glycolic Toner has won Denmark’s prestigious Beautyspace Aarets Quickfix Award 2019. According to beautyspace.dk:

“Exfoliate quickly delivers visible skin-enhancing results but also goes deeper than the surface. A smoother, more uniform complexion is achieved with consistent use.”

Exfoliate is a glycolic acid based formulation which evens-out skin tone, brightens the complexion, tightens pores and promotes skin cell renewal. With a free acid-value of 6.8% and a pH of 3.5, Exfoliate is suitable for all skin types and delivers instant skin benefits. Formulated with skin brightening and toning ingredients, Exfoliate diminishes dullness to deliver a glowing and rejuvenated complexion.

Beautyspace.dk refers to Exfoliate’s ‘uncomplicated recipe’. True to the Pestle & Mortar philosophy ‘less-is-more’, star ingredients glycolic acid, niacinamide and white daisy flower extract play the central roles in a toner that quickly delivers visible results.


Well, what a year it’s been so far for us here in Pestle & Mortar and not least due to the fact that our co-founder Sonia Deasy was chosen as one of 24 finalists in the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme passionately believes in promoting entrepreneurship across the island of Ireland and empowering entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Ireland, Northern Ireland and around the world. As a skincare brand that is focussed on building global customer trust in Irish skincare, we were certainly empowered as the journey progressed throughout the year.

The theme of this year’s programme was ‘Be Brave, Be Bold’, an inspiring message for entrepreneurs and businesses across all industries. Sonia travelled to Hong Kong in May in the company of EY Alumni and fellow finalists where she experienced the scale of industry in the East. Being in the company of Irish entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries was an education in itself:

“My journey with the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ programme was simply amazing. I learnt a lot, but I think the lesson that stood out for me was that there isn’t a single (successful) entrepreneur anywhere who doesn’t have to take a deep breath and step out of their comfort zone at times. Success lies outside your comfort zone and not within it. You really do need to be brave and be bold. That’s the lesson that the programme reinforced for me.”

This year’s programme culminated in a glittering televised Awards Ceremony last Thursday night in Dublin where Richard Kennedy of Devenish was crowned 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. The night was charged with excitement, fun and friendship with the Pestle & Mortar team and their families in attendance to support Sonia.

As a brand that launched just 5 years ago with just one single product, Pestle & Mortar is truly honoured to have been the only Irish Skincare brand taking the stage with finalists from a wide range of tech, retail, industry and agri businesses.

A massive thanks from everyone at Pestle & Mortar to the EOY committee, Alumni and fellow finalists for what was a truly rewarding experience.

 


Fasten your seatbelt and listen up! We’re excited for you that you’re going on holiday and all that BUT we are worried about your skin.

Did you know that the lack of humidity in an aircraft cabin is a whopping 20%-50% lower than what the skin is most comfortable in? You may not have known it, but you probably have noticed it. This decreased humidity is responsible for serious dehydration and  a dulled-down complexion. To add insult to injury, water retention caused by sitting still, munching on salty snacks and drinking alcohol on-board causes puffy under-eye bags.

So for a smooth skin landing, follow the inflight instructions below!

1.

Travel Make-Up Free

A dry aeroplane environment paired with occlusive makeup creates the perfect conditions for break-outs. Coupled with this, a full face of make-up will most likely appear smudgy and sloppy after hours in a cabin. So embrace your natural self, go make-up free and land smoothly!

2.

Spritz on-board

Using a refreshing, hydrating facial spritz on-board will fight dehydration and maintain the skin’s protective barrier. It also feels energising and calming all at once – just the remedy for a stuffy flight!

3.

Top-up with a Skin Serum

Bring a multi-tasking product on-board like a Hyaluronic Serum to plump-up skin and seal moisture into the skin. Perfect for warding-off stressed skin, flakiness and dullness.

4.

Drink Water

We don’t mean ‘drink water and alcohol’. We mean drink water only! Hydrating on-board is essential so drink up the H2O and save the celebratory beverages for when you land with your glowing complexion.

Simple Skincare Solutions


1.

Use an Exfoliating Skin Toner

Winter often leaves us with dry, flaky skin and more skin cells dulling the surface of the complexion. Before travelling, it’s essential that dead skin cells are sloughed away – otherwise, you’ll end up with flakiness, dry patches and an uneven complexion. Start using a mild acid toner such as a glycolic-based exfoliator as soon as your holiday dates are set. Glycolic Acid works wonders for dull skin, minimises pores and has some impressive hydrating properties too

2.

Lighten up your Moisturiser

If you switched to a heavier moisturiser for Winter, now is the time to lighten up. Pestle & Mortar’s Hydrate is formulated with squalane – an ingredient which is not only super-hydrating but also has low comedogenicity. It is unlikely to block pores. Squalane also plays a role in protecting the skin from UV radiation. In addition to containing the super beneficial squalane, Hydrate is lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin. It is the perfect travel-prep moisturising solution , providing essential hydration without clogging pores.

3.

Use a Serum

Lock-in moisture with a hydrating serum. Now is the time to ensure that your skin is getting maximum moisture after prolonged exposure to harsh Winter conditions. If you are serious about prepping your skin for travel, a hyaluronic serum is your best friend. Hyaluronic Acid, contrary to its name, is not harsh – rather, it’s a polymer that attracts water to an amazing extent. Pure Hyaluronic Serum will hold water on to the skin when applied over damp skin and skin will look and feel plumper, more hydrated and smoother.

Simple Skincare Solutions


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Pestle & Mortar co-founder and CEO Sonia Deasy has made the final 24 in the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ Programme 2019. The EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ is a world-class development programme that supports, advises and connects a community of entrepreneurs, championing entrepreneurship throughout the island of Ireland. Over the past 22 years, Ernst and Young has been on a mission to celebrate Ireland’s bravest and most inspiring entrepreneurs.

Finalists in the programme are challenged to step back and think differently about themselves and their businesses and create relationships with former winners and Alumni with a view to helping to grow their business further. This year, the theme for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ programme is ‘Be Brave, Be Bold’. Finalists will be challenged to leave their fears behind and face risk head on, with a calculated courage that has already seen them define their lives along the road less travelled.

Sonia Deasy

Sonia Deasy is co-founder and CEO of Pestle & Mortar, an Irish skincare company which launched in 2014. Since the phenomenal success of her first formulation Sonia has catapulted the company onto the global stage. As a direct result of Sonia’s visionary formulation ethos, Pestle & Mortar has experienced exceptional global business performance for a company that was founded just five years ago. Sonia’s innovative formulation strategy is inspired by her sixth-generation Indian heritage in natural healing. With a formulation ethos of ‘less-is-more’, and a mission to enhance and protect natural beauty, Pestle & Mortar is a skincare brand that is committed  to providing simple solutions for beautiful skin. By combining natural extracts with high-performance technological actives, Sonia creates the most effective skincare solutions using as few ingredients as possible. Pestle & Mortar’s value systems have garnered a loyal customer following, testament to Sonia’s unique vision and flair for innovation.

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The Beauty Editors at RSVP Magazine – that inspirational lifestyle edit for smart, confident, fashion forward women – have announced the Pestle & Mortar Exfoliate glycolic acid toner, as a WINNER in their Beauty Awards 2018. Hydrate has picked up the ”Best Liquid Exfoliator” award 2019 and we are brimming over with pride!

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