Lactic acid is a natural alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) found in the natural world as well as inside our bodies. It is produced by fermentation and also synthesized chemically. Lactic acid has a variety of uses in the cosmetic industry, especially when used in a formulation containing ~5% concentration.
Per se, lactic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that aids in:
Humans produce lactic acid naturally through the process of breaking down carbohydrates like sugars into simple sugars called glucose. This occurs during periods of physical exertion and stress, such as intense exercise and exposure to extreme cold temperatures.
The stress on the body increases lactic acid production to provide energy to the muscles faster than if only breaking down glucose slowly over time. When this happens, you may experience some muscle soreness afterward because these accelerated responses are not always comfortable for your body.
What is the benefit of using lactic acid in skin care?
A 4% solution of lactic acid applied to the skin induces a mild chemical peel that helps reduce and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A chemical peel is the process of applying a chemical substance to the skin that causes controlled damage to the outermost layers of the epidermis and dermis.
The controlled damage stimulates the body’s natural healing process to replace damaged skin with new and healthy skin. The naturally acidic pH of lactic acid also helps balance oil production and remove impurities away from the skin’s surface.
Lactic acid is also found in many chemical peels and skin lightening products. It is considered a natural AHA, and it’s a great ingredient for those with sensitive skin since it has a low likelihood of causing irritation. On the other hand, it’s also a great choice for those with oily skin since it has a pore-tightening effect.
Why is lactic acid used in skin care?
- The flexibility of lactic acid can be used effectively both at low and higher concentrations
- A mild Alpha Hydroxy Acid that exfoliates and hydrates
- Gives a boost to collagen and elastin production
- Regulates oil production and evens out skin tone
- Aids in healing acne scars and hyperpigmentation
- Reduces the signs of aging.
How to use lactic acid to treat skin conditions?
- Hormonal breakouts – Dilute lactic acid with water or aloe vera gel and apply to affected areas.
- Acne Scars – Apply lactic acid to affected areas twice a day.
- Hyperpigmentation – Mix lactic acid with Innisfree green tea powder and apply twice a day.
- Dark circles – Mix lactic acid with Innisfree green tea powder and apply under eyes.
- Stretch marks – Mix lactic acid with Innisfree green tea powder and apply twice a day.
- Dry skin – Mix lactic acid with Innisfree green tea powder and apply once a day.
How to use laconic acid for dry skin?
For dry skin, lactic acid can be used three times a week. Mix the lactic acid with Innisfree green tea powder and apply it to the face and neck. After 10 minutes, wash off the mixture with lukewarm water.
For severely dry skin, apply a moisturizing cream after washing off the lactic acid mixture.
Lactic acid is a great ingredient for those with sensitive skin since it has a low likelihood of causing irritation. On the other hand, it’s also a great choice for those with oily skin since it has a pore-tightening effect. Nevertheless, lactic acid is a great all-rounder for various skin conditions and skin types.
As with any skin care product, it’s important to do your research and find a product that’s best for you. With so many different lactic acid products available, it can be overwhelming to know which one is best for your skin type and which one will give you the results you’re looking for.