- CAS number: 50-21-5 – Lactic acid
- Origin(s): Plant, Animal, Synthetic
- INCI name: LACTIC ACID
- Also known as an AHA
- Part of the AHA family and is derived from soured milk and fruit sugars
- Is known as one of the gentlest acids and can lift away build-up of dead skin cells, bacteria and debris
- Has exfoliating and hydrating properties to deliver to the skin meaning it can benefit almost all skin types
- Lactic acid is the second most popular AHA after glycolic acid
WHO CAN USE LACTIC ACID?
All skin types can use lactic acid, however, those who are prone to skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema should use with caution.
WHAT IS LACTIC ACID?
Lactic acid is a member of the Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and is derived from natural ingredient such as milk and fruit sugars. Known as one of the gentlest chemical exfoliants it is considered a good starting point when introducing it to your skincare routine. It is able to slough away the build-up of dead skin cells that can often create a number of skin problems, such as dull and dry patches and breakouts like blackheads. Lactic acid has a large molecule size meaning it cannot penetrate the skin too deeply to cause unwanted irritation, this also makes this acid the best ingredient for those with more sensitive and dry skin types. With its many benefits you will also find lactic acid to have antibacterial properties that can help to kill any bacteria remaining on the outer layer of the skin or deep in the pores making it a gentle alternative to combating those who suffer from frequent breakouts and acne.
SIDE EFFECTS OF LACTIC ACID
It is best not to overuse lactic acid as this can lead to a number of skin concerns, from severe dryness to redness and irritation. It is also advisable to avoid using lactic acid with any other forms of AHAs, BHAs and retinol. Although it may be a gentle acid, it is always best to perform a patch test to ensure it is the right ingredient for you and your skin type.
- International Journal of Cosmetic Science, Volume 18 (2) – Apr 1, 1996, Comparative effectiveness of α‐hydroxy acids on skin properties
- Journal of Americal Academy of Dermatology, September 1996, Volume 35, Issue 3, Part 1, Pages 388–391, Epidermal and dermal effects of topical lactic acid
- Dermatologic Surgery, Volume 24 (6) – Jun 1, 1998, The Roles of pH and Concentration in Lactic Acid‐induced Stimulation of Epidermal Turnover
- Leslie Baumann, MD, Cosmetic Dermatology, 2nd edition, Lactic acid, 150o, 275-276o