A Guide to Lactic Acid: The Gentle Skincare Hero

A Guide to Lactic Acid: The Gentle Skincare Hero

Whether you’re new to the skincare world or have been developing your perfect routine for years, there’s a sacred skincare rule you’ve probably heard time and time again: exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Different types of exfoliation have varying benefits, but increasingly popular is lactic acid, thanks to its multitasking abilities. This alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) does a little bit of everything, from preventing acne to softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, all without irritating the skin. It’s a no-brainer for anyone’s skincare routine and an absolute must for sensitive skin types.

 

WHAT IS LACTIC ACID?

Lactic acid is an AHA, a group of exfoliating acids that work on the skin’s surface to  “unglue” dead skin cells, allowing you to slough them off. Lactic Acid has one of the largest molecule sizes of any AHA, which makes it perfect for sensitive skin. The larger molecules work on the surface of the skin to effectively exfoliate without penetrating too deeply. This helps prevent irritation and inflammation, all while smoothing and tightening along the way. You can incorporate it regularly into your routine without harming your skin’s natural protective barrier. 

 

THE BENEFITS OF LACTIC ACID

 

Helps brighten and even skin tone

Apart from its exfoliating properties, lactic acid helps brighten the appearance of skin and encourages a more even skin tone due to its ability to inhibit pigmentation. It’s a perfect solution for anyone who suffers from dark spots and hyperpigmentation like acne scarring, sun damage, and melasma.

 

Moisturizes the skin

One benefit that sets lactic acid apart from its AHA siblings is that it actually helps hydrate the outer layers of the skin. This makes it a great option for dryer skin types.

 

Helps prevent breakouts

Lactic acid has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which can help prevent future breakouts. This gentle alternative to glycolic acid is a great way to effectively treat acne without overly stripping the skin.

 

Promotes youthful skin 

Lactic Acid has some serious anti-aging properties as well. It has been shown to possibly preserve collagen and elastin, and it also leaves skin looking smoother and plumper, minimizing visible fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, it's an effective antioxidant, promoting younger-looking skin by protecting against free radical damage.

 

HOW TO USE LACTIC ACID

Lactic acid is naturally found in many fermented foods like pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, and sour milk, which Cleopatra is rumored to have bathed in to keep her skin soft, radiant, and youthful. Luckily, it’s much easier today to incorporate lactic acid into your routine. The lactic acid in our Enzyme Exfoliant is paired with other gentle, natural acids as well as pineapple enzymes to better brighten, stimulate, and exfoliate deeply without irritation. Use it as a mask two to three times a week to keep your skin radiant.


Consistency is key with any skincare routine, especially due to the gentle nature of an ingredient like lactic acid.  It’s important to be patient and to keep up a regular routine for at least six weeks to see the true benefits.

 

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