What Makes Lactic Acid Unique
As you can see, there are many AHAs used in skin care, which begs the question, What makes lactic acid unique? First is lactic acids molecular size. So why should you care about molecular size? Molecular size matters because the smaller a molecule, the more easily it gets into the skin. For example, glycolic acid is the smallest AHA, which means it penetrates the skin better and faster than all of the others. This is why glycolic acid is considered to be the strongest AHA. However, stronger doesnt always equal better. If you have sensitive skin or you have never used an AHA to exfoliate, glycolic acid may cause skin irritation, redness, and swelling. Thus, lactic acid is best for those with sensitive skin and for those who have never exfoliated with an AHA before. Lactic acid also imparts unique benefits that most of the other AHAs cannot provide, such as boosting hydration, stimulating collagen synthesis, improving skin discoloration, and more.
What Does Lactic Acid Do For The Skin
There are a lot of active ingredients in the skincare industry that are marketed as cure-alls or miracle products when their usefulness is likely overrated. While many of these ingredients are effective, they arent the end-all be-all secret to unlocking your skins radiant potential. The best skincare routine incorporates both the most well-known ingredients as well as those that are specifically tailored to your skin type and goals.
If you dont already know about how lactic acid can help your skin, heres all you need to know and how to incorporate it into your daily routine.
Who Shouldn’t Use It
As with all acids, you should always use caution when adding them to your skin care routine. Marmur suggests those who are allergic or lactose intolerant should avoid lactic acid unless it’s under the guidance of their dermatologist. And even though it’s a gentler option when it comes to AHAs, it’s still very powerful. So, do not apply it to your skin if it’s irritated or inflamed.
Another issue: AHAs make your skin more sun-sensitive. “There are certain things you use in your routine that make your skin more photosensitive, meaning your skin burns easier, and those include AHAs,” says board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D. Marmur also warns that some people find lactic acid makes their skin more sensitive to the sun, so applying SPF is super important. “Make sure to be extra careful with the sun and use mineral SPF 30 or higher.”
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Using Lactic Acid On Your Skin
Want brighter skin? How about less blemishes and a healthy glow? A better question would be, Who doesnt want these things?!
Lactic acid may just be the answer or one of them, at least.
Its one of the more popular alpha hydroxy acids used in skin care products the other one often used is glycolic acid.
Thats because this skin care ingredient can help slough away dead skin cells to improve skin texture, uncovering fresher, brighter skin underneath.
Potential side effects of using lactic acid are sun sensitivity and potential skin irritation. Though, you should know that not everyone who uses products with this AHA will experience these side effects.
If youd like an expert opinion on whether your complexion could benefit from using something like a lactic acid serum or moisturizer, make an appointment with a healthcare professional. If you have sensitive skin, its also a good idea to chat with a pro before you start using something new.
Lactic Acid Products For Acne
Normally, salicylic acid is the chemical exfoliant that is recommended when people try to treat acne breakouts. However, salicylic acid doesnt work for everyone, and sometimes it can cause allergies.
Lactic acid can also help with acne breakouts, as any gentle exfoliation can help prevent the dead skin build-up that ultimately clogs pores. There are many products out there that include both salicylic acid and lactic acid that you can try out.
Most products with lactic acid will work for your skin, since they tend to be oil-free and to not include comedogenic ingredients. However, you might prefer something with a lighter texture like a toner, or you might want to try a mask with lactic acid as well as high absorbent clays.
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What Is Lactic Acid And What Can It Do For Your Skin
The world of skincare acids can be scary, but once you know more about them, youll see theyre safe and can work wonders on a range of concerns. Just take lactic acid for example. This ingredient can help with everything from hyperpigmentation to acne, signs of ageing to dull skin.
Here at Face Dr, our skin experts have decades of experience treating thousands of clients. Our experience in the skincare world means we are knowledgeable about the latest ingredients and know which ones are worth adding to your routine. In this article, were going to share that knowledge and fill you in on what exactly lactic acid is, what it does for your skin and whether you should start using it.
Lactic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA. The ingredient is derived from milk and actually dates back to the Ancient Egyptian times where its thought that Cleopatra bathed in milk to soften her skin. Lactic acid can also be made from sugar beet or made synthetically in a lab, so its ideal for vegans.
Lactic acid is more gentle than other acids like salicylic acid or glycolic acid, so its a great option for those who are just starting out with AHAs or those with sensitive skin.
The Best Ways To Use Lactic Acid
After reading all of the lactic acid benefits, you may be wondering how to use lactic acid in your skin care routine. The answer to this question is not black and white, since there are many different types of lactic acid products. Below well describe how to use three different types of products: lactic acid peel, lactic acid lotion, and lactic acid moisturizer.
Try a peel to maximize exfoliationA lactic acid peel offers a strong concentration of lactic acid to exfoliate the top layers of skin . Professional lactic acid peels may also target the middle layers of skin . Despite the name, your skin doesnt noticeably peel off with a lactic acid peel. The frequency with which you use a lactic acid peel will depend on the strength of the peel, and also how well your skin tolerates acid exfoliation. It is typically recommended to use a lactic acid peel one to two times per week. If you notice skin irritation, rash, or itchiness with a lactic acid peel, you may want to decrease the frequency.
Use a lotion for dry, rough skinA lactic acid lotion is typically intended to be used on the body, not the face. Most lactic acid lotions are formulated with a low concentration of lactic acid because their primary purpose is to provide moisturization with mild exfoliation. A lactic acid lotion can be applied to dry, rough skin daily.
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Are There Any Negative Side Effects Of Using Lactic Acid On Your Skin
Lactic acid is known to be gentler and more hydrating compared to other AHAs. For that reason, it may be suitable even if you have sensitive skin, says Dr. Hollmig. That said, if you find that the ingredient makes you red and irritated, consider using a product with a lower percentage of lactic acid or skipping it entirely.
Important note: Since all AHAs can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, always apply sunscreen before you head outdoors, whether you applied lactic acid that morning or the night before.
If youre pregnant, lactic acid is a safe option, says Dr. Hollmig. Your dermatologist and OB/GYN will likely suggest skipping popular anti-aging ingredients, like retinoids, so lactic acid can be a good substitute during this time.
How Can We Make The Most Out Of Lactic Acid Products
Its common knowledge that it takes around 28 days for the skins natural exfoliation cycle to finish, a process known as desquamation. While chemical exfoliants like lactic acid will aid the process, it takes time. The most important thing is to select a lactic acid formulation designed for your skin type, skin condition and preferred routine, says Kordecki. For example, if you prefer your active ingredient to be in your cleanser rather than a peel and vice versa, stick to that. Other hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid work well with lactic acid, as both have humectant properties to keep your skin hydrated and plump, she adds.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Lactic Acid
Just like with other AHAs, lactic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun and therefore more prone to UV damage. Be sure to apply a high-grade sunscreenlike ZO Skin Healths Daily Sheer Broad Spectrumevery morning, even on overcast days.
Theres also a chance lactic acid can cause some irritation and redness. Be sure to always follow the instructions on the packaging for any product you use and do a patch test before applying to your face.
Case Studies On How Lactic Acid Helps With Acne And Hyper
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that is derived from milk. It can be used as a toner, cleanser, and exfoliator. Lactic acid helps with acne scars and dark spots by removing dead skin cells and reducing the appearance of hyper-pigmentation. Lactic Acid: A Toner Lactic Acid: A Cleanser Lactic Acid: An Exfoliator
The pH of lactic acid is anywhere between 3.5 and 4.0, which makes it an effective treatment for acne, acne scars, and hyper-pigmentation. The lactic acid in this product also has some organic acids like glycolic and salicylic acids that help with breakouts as well as stimulate skin cell turnover to get rid of acne. How do I use it?Apply a thin layer over your skin and wait for the cooling sensation to dissipate, usually within 15-20 minutes. You can apply more layers if needed. This product is best used at night before going to bed and rinsed off with warm water in the morning before getting dressed.
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Our Best Aha Products
Lactic acid isnt the only AHA you can add to your skin care routine. Were fans of the benefits of glycolic acid as well. Its been recognized as an effective anti-aging resurfacing ingredient for evening skin tone and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots. If youre interested in trying out this skin care ingredient for yourself, here are our best options.
LOréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum: This serum, which was validated in partnership with an advisory panel of dermatologists, is formulated with 10% pure glycolic acid and aloe vera. It immediately makes skin feel smoother and visibly refined. Over time, it also helps your skin tone look more even and visibly reduces dark spots. apply four to five drops to clean, dry skin every evening before moisturizing. In the morning, make sure to use sunscreen. If you have sensitive skin, start by using the serum two to three times per week and build up to nightly use.
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Daily Peel Pads: These daily peel pads with glycolic acid help resurface dull skin, even out skin tone, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time. smooth one of the pads over your skin every night, avoiding contact with your eyes.
How To Add Lactic Acid To Your Skin Care Routine
There are many products featuring lactic acid that you can include in your skin care routine. These include the following:
- Lotions And Creams
Lotions and creams are great options to be added to your skincare regime. They are packed with moisturizing and hydrating additives, such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which help prevent dryness.
- Facial Cleansers
A lactic acid-based face wash or cleanser is perfect for oily and acne-prone skin. Such products help reduce acne and fade post-acne scarring. However, be careful not to use the cleanser around your eyes as it may cause irritation and burning.
Lactic acid-based masks are great for exfoliating skin. However, they may contain higher concentrations of lactic acid and other ingredients. Hence, use them only once a week.
Serums possess potent formulas that penetrate the skin and enable effective healing. Use lactic acid-based serums at night after washing your face and before moisturization. This promotes better product absorption and activates cell renewal activity.
Avoid mixing lactic acid with products containing other AHAs, BHAs, and retinol to prevent excess dryness.
It is recommended to use lactic acid at night as it can cause UV sensitivity should you step out in the sun during the day. However, further research is warranted in this regard.
While lactic acid is an excellent ingredient for skin, it does have its share of side effects. We have discussed the same in the following section.
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How To Add Lactic Acid To Your Skincare Routine
Fights Acneexfoliates & Unclogs Pores
Lactic acid fights acne by exfoliating dead skin cells that often clog pores and trigger breakouts. Lactic acid is a keratolytic meaning it has the ability break apart dead skin cells on the skin’s surface and open any clogged pores. As a multi-purpose ingredient, lactic acid calms existing acne while also delivering anti-aging benefits. Plus, long term topical application of lactic acid has been studied as a preventive treatment for acne vulgaris. In summary, lactic acid will calm your acne today and make sure acne doesn’t show up tomorrow. FYI, glycolic acid fights acne in the same way.If acne is your main concern, other keratoytics include benzoyl peroxide and azelaic acid . For oil control or sensitive skin, see salicylic acid.
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What Does Lactic Acid Do
Like all AHAs, lactic acid increases cellular turnover, which reveals more radiant skin and a fresher complexion. By exfoliating the skins surface, you also reduce the chance of dead cells clogging a pore and causing a breakout. AHAs also stimulate the production of collagen over time, which ultimately leads to fewer fine lines and firmer skin.
Lactic acid is special because, in addition to possessing all the qualities of a typical AHA, it also enables the skin to produce ceramides. Ceramides are essentially lipids that hold skin cells together, strengthening the skin barrier. This, in turn, keeps moisture in the body and irritants outa win-win.
As if that werent enough, lactic acid is also a free radical-scavenging antioxidant. Its particularly adept at neutralizing free radicals in the upper layers of skin. As you surely know, free radicals are responsible for weakening skins support structures . Because there are so many varieties of free radicals floating around, an antioxidant cocktail approach, mixing different types of antioxidants, is the most effective way to ensure your skincare is canceling out as many free radicals as possible.
What Are The Professionals’ Lactic
Dr. Lamb enthusiastically shares the Charlotte Tilbury Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial Treatment is her go-to lactic acid product of choice. “Depending on how my skin is feeling, I like to use it one to two times per week,” she says. It also counts Allure‘s senior commerce writer Sarah Han as a fan due to its mild yet effective formula.
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Faqs About Lactic Acid
Q. What is lactic acid?glycolic acidQ. What is lactic acid used for in skin care?
- Increases penetration of other ingredients
Q. What skin types is lactic acid good for?Q. Is lactic acid safe for my skin?Q. What are common side effects from applying lactic acid topically?Q. How long does lactic acid take to work topically?Q. Is lactic acid safe to use everyday?Q. Is tingling from lactic acid normal?Q. Can ceramide cream help skin irritation from lactic acid?Q. Are lactic acid peels safe?Q. How do lactic acid peels work?Q. Can lactic acid burn your skin?Q. Can lactic acid lighten your skin?Q. Can lactic acid peels cause hyperpigmentation Q. Can lactic acid smooth deep fine lines and wrinkles?Q. Can lactic acid remove sun damage?Q. Does lactic acid make your skin photosensitive ?Q. Does lactic acid hydrate dry skin?Q. Is lactic acid safe for sensitive skin?Q. Can lactic acid shrink pores?Q. Does lactic acid cause purging?Q. How long does the purge time period last?Q. What is the difference between lactic acid and glycolic acid?