What Does Lactic Acid Do?

Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is commonly used in skincare for its exfoliating and skin-renewing properties. It's derived from milk or other sources and offers several benefits for improving the appearance and texture of the skin. Here's what lactic acid does:

  1. Exfoliation: Like other AHAs, lactic acid works by gently breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. This exfoliation process helps to remove the outer layer of dead cells, revealing smoother and more radiant skin underneath.

  2. Cell Turnover: By encouraging the shedding of dead skin cells, lactic acid supports the skin's natural process of cell turnover. This can result in a more even skin tone, smoother texture, and a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  3. Hydration: Lactic acid has humectant properties, which means it can attract and hold onto water molecules. This helps to improve the skin's hydration levels, leading to a plumper and more moisturized appearance.

  4. Brightening: Lactic acid can help address issues related to uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. It helps to fade areas of discoloration and promote a more uniform complexion.

  5. Gentle Exfoliation: Lactic acid is known for being milder than some other AHAs, making it suitable for individuals with sensitive skin or those who are new to chemical exfoliation.

  6. Improved Texture: Regular use of lactic acid can lead to smoother and softer skin. It can help minimize the appearance of roughness and dry patches.

  7. Collagen Stimulation: Some research suggests that lactic acid may stimulate collagen production in the skin, contributing to improved skin firmness and elasticity.

  8. Product Penetration: By exfoliating the top layer of dead skin cells, lactic acid can enhance the absorption of other skincare products. This means that serums, moisturizers, and treatments applied after lactic acid can penetrate more effectively.

  9. Professional Treatments: Lactic acid is also used in professional chemical peels to provide controlled and deeper exfoliation. These treatments are typically performed by skincare professionals and can target specific skin concerns.

  10. Sun Sensitivity: Similar to other AHAs, lactic acid can increase skin sensitivity to the sun. Using sunscreen daily when using products containing lactic acid is important to protect the skin from potential sun damage.

Lactic acid is often well-tolerated by various skin types, but it's still essential to perform a patch test and introduce it gradually into your skincare routine, especially if you have sensitive skin. We provide a free patch test kit with all of our skincare.

If you're uncertain about the right concentration or products containing lactic acid for your skin type, seeking advice from a dermatologist or skincare professional can provide personalized guidance.


Photo by Ivan Samkov: https://www.pexels.com/photo/fashion-love-people-woman-7162194/

Explore more