Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (A.H.A.) known for its exfoliating effect on the surface layers of the skin. It helps to remove dead skin cells to make facial skin smoother, brighter and more even. Studies have also reported its ability to reduce wrinkles and even blemishes associated with acne breakouts.
In general, lactic acid is the AHA of choice for those with sensitive skin seeking a gentle exfoliation. This molecule, which is bigger than glycolic acid, will penetrate less deeply into the epidermis, and will therefore be less irritating than the latter. Lactic acid is therefore an excellent alternative for skin that has not tolerated glycolic acid products.
Before using a lactic acid product, we recommend that you perform a skin tolerance test. Put a few drops of your product on the arm or the back of your hand and wait 24 hours. If you notice any skin reaction, do not use your lactic acid product on your face.
Note: Lactic acid is a photosensitizing substance. It should therefore be applied preferably in the evening, so as not to cause skin irritation when exposed to the sun. We still advise you to use a broad-spectrum sun cream the next and following days.
SMITH W.P. Epidermal and dermal effects of topical lactic acid. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (1996).
RATHI S.K. Acne vulgaris treatment : the current scenario. Indian Journal of Dermatology (2011).