Can I use Lactic Acid after Salicylic Acid Cleanser?

Can I use Lactic Acid after Salicylic Acid Cleanser?

Even if you are confident and have used these acids before, there is still a chance you can overdo it. Don’t worry though, it happens to the best of us, and today we will be looking into how to use lactic acid after salicylic acid cleanser.

But before we get stuck in, if you are wanting to know more about these acids you can find out more over on our Skin School.

What is Lactic Acid?

What is Salicylic Acid? 

What cleanser should I use with lactic acid? 

When it comes to finding a cleanser to use with lactic acid, you need to take into consideration what skin type you have. For example, those with an oily and blemish-prone skin will benefit by having a salicylic acid enriched cleanser followed with a toner or serum containing lactic acid. This will combat build-up of dirt and bacteria whilst regulating the production of sebum (natural oil found in the skin)

As for those with skin that is dry or suffering from mild sensitivity it is best to have lactic acid as the main chemical exfoliant. You can then team with this a hydrating humectant ingredient, such as hyaluronic acid or niacinamide to ensure moisture is locked into the surface of the skin.

With lactic acid being the mildest of the chemical exfoliants you can team it easily with stronger acids without the worry of overly drying the skin and causing irritation. One of the main benefits of lactic acid is the fact it is one of the gentlest alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) making it suitable for almost all skin types to use in their daily routine. Much like all skincare ingredients however, I still suggest you consult with a doctor or dermatologist before introducing lactic acid into your regime. Once you have established the best formulas and products to use you will reap the rewards of a working skincare routine.

What can you not mix with salicylic acid cleanser? 

It is considered best to avoid using retinol and salicylic acid together. However, the percentage of active levels of salicylic acid in cleanser formulas tends to be lower than that found in serums.

If you are wanting to use these ingredients together in your routine you can, it simply requires you to use them at the best time during the day. For example, use a salicylic acid cleanser in the morning followed with a retinol enriched serum during your evening routine. This leaves enough time in between applications to see the results without the drying or irritated side effects. If you wanted to find out more, check out our blog post about what can you not mix with salicylic acid?

Is it OK to use lactic acid every day? 

Although lactic acid is mild, it is still not advisable to use high levels of active lactic acid every day. As for cleansers and other products that rinse off the skin, these are considered perfectly fine to use daily. For formulas that are more potent and remain on the skin, such as serums and moisturisers should be alternated with other products containing complimentary ingredients.

Can you put lactic acid on pimples?

Yes, you can, but it is known that the most effective form of lactic acid to use when combating pimples is in a chemical peel form. With the potency of the acid at a medical grade, you’ll be hard pressed to find an over the counter (OTC) with the same active level of lactic acid.

If you are wanting quick results and reducing the appearance of blemished and breakouts, I suggest a chemical peel. For gentle and effective results that can be achieved at home over a matter of weeks opt for exfoliating toners, cleansers, or serums to combat any flare-ups in spots or frequent acne concerns.

Can you mix salicylic acid and lactic acid?

Yes, you can, if your skin is happy with you using a mixture of AHAs and BHA.

With salicylic acid’s small molecular size, it can reach the furthest into the pores and helping to unclog them easily. Lactic acid works on the outer layer of the skin sloughing away the build-up of dead skin cells that often leads to breakouts and patches of flaking skin. Lactic acid is unable to penetrate as far as salicylic acid meaning each acid are able work in different areas. This potent concoction needs to be used methodically to ensure your skin reaps the rewards and doesn’t suffer.

Does lactic acid help with blackheads?

Lactic acid is an effective exfoliating ingredient, but there are more acids available that deliver faster results and make light work of blackheads, such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid. These acids are more potent and can combat signs of excess sebum, bacteria, debris, and other impurities. The drawback however is the higher the potency, the higher the chance you have of suffering from skin irritation. Before using any new acids or skincare formula for the first time it is important to perform a patch test for 24 hours before applying it all over the face.

When would you use lactic acid?

You would use lactic acid in your routine when you are experiencing certain skin concerns, such as hyperpigmentation, flaky patches and lack lustre complexion to name a few. If you are wanting to address these concerns and have not yet used any form of chemical exfoliant, lactic acid is a great starting point, especially if you have a sensitive skin type that is prone to being dry.

You will find that lactic acid is formulated into several skincare products, from face wash, cleansers, exfoliating toners, serums, moisturisers, and face masks. This certainly ensures you would find the best product, formulation and active levels of lactic acid that would benefit you and your skin type.

So, I hope that today has cleared up some questions you were wondering about using lactic acid after salicylic acid cleanser. Remembering of course the correct order to apply your skincare products, from thinnest to thickest is an important part of an effective routine. Don’t forget to come and follow us on Instagram for more skincare tips, exclusive discounts, and new product launches.


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