You’ve likely heard of the naturally occurring form of lactic acid that’s mainly found in your muscles and red blood cells, and your body relies on it to break down carbohydrates for energy. However, lactic acid has some pretty impressive benefits for your skin, and in the skincare world we rely on a different source of lactic acid to obtain those benefits.
Lactic acid in skincare is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that works as an exfoliator by breaking apart dead skin cells and helping the process along of sloughing them off. In high doses, lactic acid can be a bit irritating, however, it’s one of the most tolerable AHAs you can use and it’s commonly found in superficial chemical peels and skincare products.
The form of lactic acid used in skincare is manufactured from milk, and we offer it in several of our treatments including the Jessner Peel, the Eye & Lip Peel and the Hand Peel. It’s the ingredient that contributes to the flaking and peeling commonly experienced after a chemical peel, although advancements in peel application have actually reduced excessive peeling while still delivering results from the peel.
WHAT DOES LACTIC ACID DO FOR YOUR SKIN?
As a natural exfoliator, lactic acid will work to reduce fine lines and inflammation in your skin but it’s capable of so much more than that. Lactic acid can restore balance to your skin, helping it retain moisture, boost lipids, and stimulate collagen production. We also recommend chemical peels containing lactic acid to patients who are dealing with dark spots and uneven skin tone. Lactic acid can be helpful in breaking apart age spots as well as clearing up acne scars. And with it’s natural antibacterial nature, you can look forward to less acne in the future.
IS THERE ANYONE WHO SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT USE LACTIC ACID?
Here’s one of our favorite things about lactic acid: anyone can use it. Younger skin can benefit from the balancing properties found in this AHA, and mature skin can benefit from the increased exfoliation and collagen regeneration it provides. And since it is relatively gentle, darker skin tones should not fret about hypopigmentation.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS AND TREATMENTS WITH LACTIC ACID
We recommend the Jessner, Eye & Lip, and Hand Peels if you’re looking for a treatment that will provide more aggressive results. And with the advancements in chemical peels, you can still enjoy the benefits of lactic acid without excessive peeling and days of downtime that sometimes come hand in hand with chemical peels.