When using products containing lactic acid and other AHAs it is considered best to avoid applying them with vitamin C. This is because the mixture of these acids will create an imbalance in pH levels of the skin rendering each ingredient useless.
It can feel quite comical at times thinking about how derivatives of sour milk can deliver hugely impressive skin results. But that is exactly what lactic acid is and its benefits have been known about for centuries.Praised for being the gentlest of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) it can be used by basically all skin types, each one taking away specific benefits when using the chemical exfoliant in their everyday skincare routine.
What should you not use lactic acid for?
Many favour to use it in a toner or similar product, but this acid isn’t just restricted to exfoliating the skin. Lactic acid also contains humectant properties meaning it is able to balance the skin by pulling moisturise into the skin from the surrounding areas and formulations of skincare products. This enables the AHA to find its way into other skin and body products, such as gentle cleansers, hand creams and body moisturisers.
As you can see this is a very versatile ingredient and with its structure resulting in it remaining gentle on the skin, with the large molecular preventing it from reaching too far down into the lower layers of the skin, leading to irritation. In regards to what should you not use lactic acid for, well there really isn’t much you can’t do with this multitalented ingredient. As gentle as lactic acid is on the skin it is best you still perform a 24 hour patch test before using any product to ensure you don’t suffer with any skin flare-ups or irritation.
Can you use lactic acid and hyaluronic acid together?
Absolutely! Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that every, and I mean every single skin type can use. With its high volumes of water and hydrating abilities you’ll be mad not to include this ingredient in your routine. As for combining hyaluronic acid and lactic acid together, you are basically setting your skin up to receive a continuous flow of moisture throughout the day thanks to the humectant properties of both ingredients, but you’ll also find that using lactic acid to rid the skin of dead skin cell build-up will clear the way for hyaluronic acid to reach the lower layers of the skin and get to work.
This will then lead to you seeing quicker results such as reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and keep the protective skin barrier fully functioning and able to combat any free radical damage that your face comes into contact with on a daily basis.
Can you use lactic acid and vitamin C together?
Yes and no, vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient and is widely adored by many for its skin brightening and rejuvenating properties. Packed in antioxidants vitamin C can combat signs of dark spots by working on the lower layers of the skin, preventing excess pigmentation to work its way to the surface.
The only trouble is mixing lactic acid and vitamin C can be too harsh for the skin. Many skincare experts advise using these potent actives together, once enough time has passed between applications. Alternatively you can also alternate when you use each formula, for example, opting to apply vitamin C enriched serum in the morning, followed by lactic acid in the evening.
By using these ingredients in this way leads to vitamin C being a perfect teammate for lactic acid as each ingredient target similar skin concerns whilst working in different areas of the skin. This is why using vitamin C and lactic acid will not only restore the healthy, youthful glow back to your skin, you will also be able to give your skin the protection it needs from the elements and daily aggressors.
Can I use lactic acid every night?
Yes you can use lactic acid every night, the exfoliating properties of this AHA are on the gentle side of things and can rid the skin of any build-up of impurities, dirt and debris that have been picked up during the day. The humectant traits of lactic acid are also hugely beneficial to use in the evenings to restore the correct levels of water in the skin barrier which will not only accelerate how effective other ingredients are once you have applied them on your skin but repair any damage the skin has experienced during the day.
Depending on your skin type I would firstly suggest using lactic acid in the evenings once a week then as time goes on and your skin builds a tolerance to the ingredient you will be able to use it twice a day.
Should I moisturise after lactic acid?
yes, it is considered beneficial to apply moisturiser after lactic acid. The main benefit of moisturisers are not only the formulations and active ingredients, but it is also a skincare product that can physically form a protective barrier on the outer surface of the skin. By ensuring the epidermis of the skin is fully functioning with the correct levels of water and oil you will find your skin can combat any damage that can come into contact with your face throughout the day. By this I mean pollution, UV exposure, central heating and bad weather, all of which can weaken the skin’s barrier making it more likely to flare-up with all manner of skin concerns. So, as you can see, preventing this from happening by applying a moisturiser after using lactic acid you will keep the skin healthy and allow the acid to work uninterrupted by contact with potential skin damage.
How long does it take for lactic acid to work?
Generally speaking, you can expect to see a notable difference in the skin after 4-6 applications of lactic acid during your daily skincare routine. As for chemical peels, on average about 2 treatments between 1-2 months will give the skin an overall improved look and feel. Luckily for us, lactic acid is gentle enough to use every day but keep in mind that results won’t happen overnight so try not to overuse the acid as this can cause irritation.
There you have a little insight into what you can and can’t mix with lactic acid, don’t forget to come and find me over on the Procoal Instagram.