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What is Lactic Acid and Can It Be Used on Your Face?

Acids on your face may sound like a scary prospect but they’re actually highly effective for promoting a beautiful complexion. You may be familiar with the term ‘lactic acid’ but what does it do and how can you use it as part of your skincare routine?

What is lactic acid?

Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid or AHA. These types of acids are derived from foods and are used to refine the skin’s surface for smoother, clearer skin. AHAs are often used in many cleansing products but it can also be used on its own before moisturiser.

The benefits of lactic acid?

Using lactic acid in your skincare routine has a number of benefits;

  • Gently exfoliates
  • Promotes radiant skin
  • Provides minimal irritation
  • Aids the treatment of acne as it is antibacterial
  • Promotes the renewal of skin
  • Hydrates
  • Promotes collagen production

Ideal for the majority of skin types, including the following issues;

  • Brown spots
  • Pigmentation
  • Dull complexion
  • Congested skin
  • Acne
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Ingrown hairs

How to use lactic acid

Depending on the strength, it can be used to chemically exfoliate, moisturise or as a treatment. In low strengths, the acid hydrates to prevent cell water loss. Furthermore, it reduces dehydration. In larger strengths, lactic acid effectively exfoliates to eliminate dullness and rough skin patches. It can also work on the deeper layers of the skin to boost cell turnover and improve collagen production.

Lactic acid tends to be gentler than glycolic acid so those with sensitive skin types may find it more suitable. If you intend to use a lactic acid product on its own then use it after toning and before you apply moisturiser. It’s best to avoid using other AHA’s, like glycolic acid, at the same time of day.

For more info on acids for your skin take a look at this blog post from earlier in the year here.

Image: istock.com/ThomFoto


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