Best Acid Treatment Pads For Acne Prone Skin

Since the end of last year, I have incorporated acids in my skincare routine, following my dermatologist's advice for a skin infection. I now use Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) pads in the morning and Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) or combination pads in the evening. Together, they help fade pigmentation, prevent acne, exfoliate, provide a bunch of nutrients to the face and facilitate quicker and deeper absorption of other products. Here are my favourite treatment pads and WHY I love them.

Scroll down to read more about the best acid treatment pads for acne-prone skin. 

Best Acid Treatment Pads For Acne Prone Skin


When to use acid treatment pads

After cleansing. Before a hydrating mist or moisturising toner such as Thayer's Rose Water (and the rest of your skincare routine). Some of these need to be followed by a splash of water to the face to neutralise. I cut most of my acid pads in half, so they last much longer (with a sterile pair of scissors I keep aside for this).

Best Acid Treatment Pads For Acne Prone Skin

AHA or Combination Pads:

1. Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula

HG. If I had to pick just one, it would be this.
What: Two-phase treatment. There is an alpha surface refiner and a beta treatment pad. You get it in individually-packed boxes as well, so you can take 'em travelling without risk of spillage.
How many: 30 pairs.
How much: £59.25. Code LF15 for 15% off. 
How to use: Apply the alpha refiner pad first. Wait for two minutes; apply the beta pad. I use this two nights a week.
Versions: Two Alpha-Beta Peel versions - original formula and extra strength. They also have other pads but we're talking about AB Peels now.
Repurchase: I've bought the Extra Strength version recently; let's see what they are like.
Buy it here.

2. Cane + Austin Retexturing Treatment Pads

As effective as DDG - also formulated by a dermatologist. I adore the packaging.
What: 10% glycolic acid. Also has Vits A, C and E, COQ10 and antioxidants. 
How many: 60 pads.
How much: £34
How to use: Dab away. Cut 'em in half so they last longer. Use sterile scissors. I use this four or so nights a week. Or whenever my skin feels congested.
Versions: An anti-acne version with 5% AHA and 2% BHA; and a 20% glycolic version called Miracle Pads.
Repurchase: Yes! These and Dr Dennis Gross are my favourite glycolic/combo pads. I might buy the Miracle Pads next.  
Buy it here.

3. Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel

What: Lactic acid, white willow bark and glycolic. Seriously soft pads.
How many: 60
How much: £38
Use as the other single-pad formulae listed here.
Repurchase: When there's a GWP or offer across the site.  Incidentally, the Skyn Iceland Discovery kit contains a full-sized jar of 60 of these pads and costs as much as the pads do by themselves. So you get a sample face wash, moisturising lotion, two eye gel pads, and a full-sized eye treatment pen FREE for the price of the pads.
Buy it here.

4. Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Pads

What: A 20% complex of alpha, beta and gamma acids and amino acids, Vits A, C, D, E and F, chamomile and green tea extracts. 
How many: 60
How much: £29
Versions: There's also a Max Complexion Corrector version which has peach bellini fragrance, but it also contains alcohol (denat.) high up on the list. 
Repurchase: Yes, when there's a GWP or offer.
Buy it here.

5. Pixi Glow Pads

What: 20% glycolic, rose water and some SA and lactic. STRONG stuff for me. Slightly smaller circumference for the pads, so I didn't cut these in half.
How many: 60
How much: £24. Code LF15 for 15% off.
Versions: I wish they had a milder version; this was a tad too strong for my skin. 
Repurchase: If I need something this strong.
Buy it here.

6. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

A pad-based form of Pixi Glow Tonic.
What: Mildest mix of glycolic, lactic and hyaluronic. Start here if new to acid or if you've never used acid-based toners. Good to use every day.
How many: 60
How much: £22. Code LF15 for 15% off. Buy now and get an FAB hydrating serum free with two FAB products.
Repurchase: Have progressed to stronger formulae.
Buy it here

BHA pads:

7. Stridex Maximum Strength Pads

Everyday morning treatment
What: 2% salicylic. Feels strong, so maybe build up after using Paula's Choice 2% BHA or a similar milder formulation. 
How many: 90
How much: $6. Yes, 'swhatisaid.
Versions: A regular strength and an aloe version for sensitive skin. I prefer the Max Strength version, though.
Repurchase: Yes. 90 pads is always a good deal.
Buy it here.

8. CosRx One Step Pimple Clear Pads

What: Salicylic, hyaluron, tea tree oil, orange peel. Nice, large-sized pads. Gentler than Stridex but has equally good flattening and preventive effects on acne. 
How many: 70
How much: $26. Code 2758605 for $5 off.
Repurchase: When there's a sale.
Buy it here.

Favourite AHA/Combo Pads: 

Tie between Cane+Austin and Dr Dennis Gross. I suppose being formulated by an MD makes a huge difference!
If you are a beginner, start with FAB, but after your first jar, upgrade to Cane+Austin or Dr Dennis Gross.

Favourite BHA: 

Tough; both perform beautifully. I would say CosRx, but 90 pads makes Stridex much better value for money.

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