Whether you’re looking for a calming night cream or a brightening toner, lactic acid is a natural ingredient that is a great addition to your skin care regimen. This acid is produced naturally in dairy products through sugars such as glucose fermentation. Synthetic lactic acid is also available and is cruelty-free and vegan. However, you may want to avoid lactic acid altogether if you have sensitive skin.
What is Lactic Acid?
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from milk. It is a compound that is produced when glucose is metabolized in the body. It is a by-product of glycolysis, which is the breakdown of glucose in the body. Lactic acid is produced in the muscles when they are working hard and there is not enough oxygen present to complete the process of aerobic respiration. When this happens, the body produces lactic acid as a way to generate energy. Lactic acid is then transported to the liver where it is converted into pyruvic acid and used for energy production.
Benefits of using lactic acid on skin
While lactic acid has numerous benefits for your skin, it should be applied cautiously. Although it is a great ingredient for healthy skin, it may make you more sensitive to the sun. It’s often used as an exfoliating agent in skincare products because it can help to slough away dead skin cells and reveal brighter, more radiant skin.
Here are Top 7 benefits of using lactic acid on the skin:
As mentioned earlier, lactic acid can help to slough away dead skin cells, resulting in a brighter, more even complexion. If you have dull, dry skin, incorporating a lactic acid-based product into your skincare routine can improve the overall appearance of your skin. Aside from that, lactic acid-based exfoliation will also promote faster collagen production and improve skin hydration. That is why it’s an excellent choice for aging skin
In addition to exfoliating the skin, lactic acid can also help to smooth out rough patches. If you have rough, dry skin on your elbows or knees, for example, applying a lactic acid-based product can help to soften and smooth the area.
Lactic acid can also help to brighten the skin. If you have dull, tired-looking skin, incorporating a lactic acid-based product into your skincare routine can help to give your skin a more radiant appearance.
4. Reducing Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Lactic acid can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. By exfoliating the skin and stimulating collagen production, lactic acid can help to smooth out the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
5. Reducing Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin due to an overproduction of melanin. Lactic acid can help to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation by exfoliating the skin and stimulating cell turnover.
6. Reducing Acne
Lactic acid can also help to reduce acne. By exfoliating the skin and unclogging pores, lactic acid can help to clear up acne and prevent breakouts.
7. Improving Skin Texture
Lactic acid is also useful to improve the overall texture of the skin. If you have rough, uneven skin, incorporating a lactic acid-based product into your skincare routine can assist to smooth and improve the overall texture of your skin.
How to use lactic acid for skin care
There are many ways to incorporate lactic acid into your skin care routine. You can find products that contain lactic acid, or you can make your own DIY lactic acid treatment at home.
For people who have never used lactic acid, it’s best to start using a low concentration, such as 5% to 10%, to let their skin adjust. You may be happy with the results and can gradually increase your strength. Using a lactic acid-based cream twice a week will give your skin time to adapt. You’ll want to check your skin’s reaction to it every few days to avoid burning or itching.
Lactic acid can be used in many different ways to benefit your skin. Here are a few ideas:
-Use it as a cleanser: Add a few drops of lactic acid to your regular cleanser to boost its exfoliating power.
-Use it as a toner: Lactic acid can help to even out the skin tone and reduce the appearance of pores. Just add a few drops to a cotton ball and apply it to your face after cleansing.
-Use it in a mask: A lactic acid mask is a great way to exfoliate and brighten your skin. You can make your own mask by mixing 1 tablespoon of lactic acid with 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Apply the mask to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off.
-Use it in a scrub: A lactic acid scrub can help to slough off dead skin cells and reveal softer, smoother skin. Just mix 1 tablespoon of lactic acid with 1 cup of sugar and use it to scrub your skin in the shower.
Lactic acid is a great way to improve the appearance of your skin. By incorporating it into your skin care routine, you can enjoy softer, smoother, and more radiant skin.
Depending on the specific products in a person’s skin care regime, the directions for applying will be different. It is important to follow those instructions carefully to ensure the best outcome.
Possible Side Effects Of Lactic Acid
Side Effect – If you have sensitive skin, lactic acid may cause tingling, burning, or itchiness, but it’s usually harmless and should be tolerated by most people.
Solution: It’s best to consult a dermatologist before using it on your skin.
Side Effect – If you have a skin condition, lactic acid can increase the appearance of acne. It can also enlarge existing microcomedones, which are precursors to acne. Using a lactic acid-based skin care product can also speed up the appearance of acne, as it can increase the rate of cell turnover. It can also lead to a rush of visible acne.
Solution: If you are unsure if lactic acid is right for you, consult a dermatologist or esthetician.
Side Effect – While lactic acid-based products are generally safe for most people, they are not ideal for every skin type. It can cause excessive skin irritation, breakouts, and dryness and may speed up aging.
Solution: You should avoid excessive skin exfoliation, as this will only irritate it and cause it to age more rapidly. Moreover, because it is a chemical, lactic acid-based peels do not require any scrubbing and work to gently loosen dead skin cells.
Though Lactic acid can help to hydrate the skin and improve its texture, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects of using lactic acid on your skin.
10 common side effects of using lactic acid on your skin:
Lactic acid can cause dryness, redness, and irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. Be sure to use a moisturizer after applying any product containing lactic acid.
- Burning sensation
Some people may experience a burning sensation when lactic acid is applied to the skin. This is usually temporary and will go away within a few minutes.
Lactic acid can also cause itching and redness. If this occurs, discontinue use of the product and consult your doctor.
In rare cases, lactic acid can cause blisters. If you experience this, discontinue use and seek medical attention.
Lactic acid can cause swelling and irritation. If this occurs, discontinue use of the product and consult your doctor.
Lactic acid can cause redness and irritation. If this occurs, discontinue use of the product and consult your doctor.
Lactic acid can cause the skin to peel. This is usually not harmful but can be uncomfortable. If this occurs, discontinue use of the product and consult your doctor.
Lactic acid can cause a rash. If this occurs, discontinue use of the product and consult your doctor.
Lactic acid can cause hives. If this occurs, discontinue use of the product and consult your doctor.
- Difficulty Breathing
In rare cases, lactic acid can cause difficulty breathing. If this occurs, seek medical attention immediately.
Frequently asked questions about Lactic Acid
How often should I use lactic acid on my face?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on your individual skin type and what your skin can tolerate. Some people may find that using lactic acid every day works well for them, while others may only need to use it once or twice a week. It is important to experiment to see what works best for you and to always start with a lower concentration to see how your skin reacts
Should I moisturize after lactic acid?
Yes, you should moisturize after lactic acid. Lactic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that can help to exfoliate the skin. However, it can also cause dryness, so it is important to moisturize afterwards.
How long does lactic acid take to work?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, including the person’s individual physiology and the intensity of the activity.
DermNet NZ stated that AHA peels can take a few months to work.
The Bottom Line
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid. It is one of the most common acids used in professional treatments and over-the-counter skin care products. This lactic acid helps exfoliate the skin and accelerates cell turnover, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is also very effective in the treatment of keratosis pilaris, a skin condition that affects the appearance of chicken skin.