We've covered the benefits of using salicylic acid in your skincare regime, but that was only scratching the surface when it comes to acids that are worth being familiar with. Here, we’ll be looking at lactic acid, a lesser-known skincare ingredient that packs a punch.
What Is Lactic Acid?
An organic alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) lactic acid is found naturally in our bodies, as well as in some food products such as sour milk. Often associated more with running than skincare, lactic acid is the bane of gym bunnies as it’s the compound that, if produced faster than it can be processed, leads to muscle cramps when exercising.
But there’s so much more to lactic acid than just curdled milk and sore biceps! Like the other better known AHAs and BHAs, a beneficial function of lactic acid is that it can promote softer, smoother skin.
How Does It Work?
Like other AHAs and BHAs, lactic acid is naturally exfoliating and breaks down the bonds that hold old skin cells to the surface. For this reason, it’s also a popular ingredient in creams that reduce keratosis pilaris, the condition associated with bumpy “chicken skin” in which a plug of skin cells build up around a hair follicle.
Not only that, but lactic acid also improves the skin’s own moisture retention capabilities and increases the release of collagen, leading to skin which is better hydrated and has fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
Who Can Benefit From Using Lactic Acid?
Unlike salicylic acid which is ideal for oily or acne-prone skin, lactic acid is a dream for those with drier complexions. It’s also one of the best options if you have sensitive skin, due to it being gentler than other AHAs.
Whatever your skin type, if you’re nervous about using an acid exfoliator in your skincare routine, lactic acid is a great place to start. And while it was once predominantly sourced from milk, nowadays lactic acid is often synthetically produced or plant-derived, so it’s also easy to find vegan-friendly products!
What Products Contain Lactic Acid?
Lactic acid isn’t often shouted about on product packaging in the same way that glycolic acid or other organic acids are. Instead, it tends to be combined with other alpha hydroxy acids and marketed as an AHA acid peel or mask. As always, we recommend checking the ingredients list to find out how prominently lactic acid features within a product.
Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum helps to reduce redness, irritation and environmental aggression while making skin less sensitive and prolonging a youthful, clear complexion.
A stronger version of the popular tonic, this mask combines lactic and glycolic acids to help beat lacklustre skin. Naturally derived, this bio-active peel resurfaces the skin and reveals a brighter, smoother, more even complexion.
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