What Does Lactobionic Acid Do in Skincare and What are its Benefits?

What Does Lactobionic Acid Do in Skincare and What are its Benefits?

When it comes to skincare acids there is very little these effective ingredients can’t do. From combating signs of ageing, hyperpigmentation or brightening a dull complexion the powerhouse family of AHAs and BHAs will target them all in one swoop. Having said that, there is a collection of acids edging their way slowly but surely into our skincare routine, Polyhydroxy acids, also known as PHAs. I have previously discussed these acids before in a dedicated blog post, but today I wanted to focus on one in particular.

So, stick around if you want to learn more about lactobionic acid and how it benefits your skin.

What is lactobionic acid?

Lactobionic acid, also known as LA, is found to naturally occur in the body as a result of oxidation of lactose. As a member of the PHA family in recent years it has gathered some recognition amongst dermatologists and beauty professionals due to its impressive antioxidant properties. This makes it a highly effective skincare ingredient as it has an impressive ability to protect the skin from free radical damage, such as pollution, UV exposure and other environmental aggressors. When the skin is exposed to these without any help from an antioxidant enriched compound a number of skin concerns begin to develop, from fine lines, congested and uneven complexion including hyperpigmentation.

What does lactobionic acid do for the skin?

Containing high levels of antioxidant benefits lactobionic acid has the ability to keep the skin’s natural protective barrier to remain fully functioning and able to tackle any free radicals. But that isn’t the only skin benefits this clever PHA can provide. It is an acid and can buff away any build-up of dead skin cells, debris and other impurities that can often lead the skin becoming lacklustre. By gently exfoliating lactobionic acid is able to restore balance in the skin and giving an all-over marked improvement on the complexion and radiance. You will also find that due to LA having a larger molecule size it therefore cannot penetrate through the skin too far creating any skin irritation.

Skincare benefits of lactobionic acid

  • Lactobionic acid is a member of the PHA family and is one of the most-gentle acids formulated into skincare products
  • Lactobionic acid can be used on all skin types but benefit dry and sensitive skins the most
  • Lactobionic acid contains antioxidant properties and can protect the skin from any free radical damage
  • Lactobionic acid can aid the skin in remaining moisturised
  • Lactobionic acid can gently slough away a build-up of dead skin cells that can make the skin dull and lacklustre
  • Lactobionic acid will improve the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation making them less noticeable
  • Lactobionic acid provides anti-ageing benefits reducing fine line and wrinkles

Much like every chemical exfoliant, lactobionic acid has been formulated into all manner of skincare products. This will help you introduce the ingredient into your routine in the most convenient way and how it best suits your lifestyle, budget and daily skincare regime. Although lactobionic acid is a very gentle facial acid, it is advisable to perform a patch test and consult a dermatologist to ensure its the right ingredient for you.

What is the difference between lactobionic acid and other skincare acids?

The main difference between lactobionic acid and other skincare acids is the fact it is a PHA, meaning its molecule size (as previously mentioned) is very large and cannot penetrate as aggressively as other acids, such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid. LA is able to provide the skin with exfoliation, ridding it of any skin concerns and impurities without any side effects (irritation, redness and dryness) that are often connected to more potent AHAs and BHAs. The fact that lactobionic works mainly on the outer layers of the skin it is able to help the protective barrier to remain functioning with the correct levels of vital oil and water it needs to have the ability to combat environmental damage and other skin stresses due to its antioxidant, exfoliating and moisturising properties.

Which skin types can benefit from using lactobionic acid?

You are well aware now of how lactobionic acid is one of the most gentle acids available on the market, this results in it being safe enough to be used by all skin types. Many will benefit from introducing LA into their routine, however, those with sensitive and severely dry skin types will benefit the most as they will find they are able to use this acid to achieve the over-all glow you gain from the application of a chemical exfoliant, something they have not been able to achieve in the past due to other acids being too harsh for the face.

If you decide to use a lactobionic acid enriched serum and have established it is safe to use, you can start by applying a thin layer of serum on a fully cleansed face during your daily routine. If you are using it in the day don’t forget to apply a SPF of 30 and above to protect the skin, due to the exfoliating properties of the acid your skin can become more sensitive to UV exposure.

How often can you use lactobionic acid in your skincare routine?

This is very dependant on which skin type you have, generally speaking however, to begin with it is best to use your acid in your evening routine about 2 to 3 times a week ensuring you keep an eye on your skin for any signs of irritation. Once your skin is happy and you have built-up its tolerance you can increase the frequency of how often you use it.

Another factor to remember is the type of product you are using that contains LA, for example, a treatment product, such as a face mask, can be applied as often as once or twice a week. This is the best product to use if you find your skin to be more problematic and would benefit from a more frequent, yet gentle exfoliation to target any breakouts. For more dry skin, serums applied in the evening will aid exfoliation and lock in any moisture, working overtime when you are catching up on your beauty sleep, leaving you with a refreshed and hydrated complexion for the morning.

There you have a few key points about lactobionic acid and its skincare benefits, though it isn’t as popular as its more potent cousins, this PHA acid is a secret to hydrated, glowing happy skin and we for one will be adding to our skincare routine! 


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