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Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Lactic Acid

Hit the reset button for your skin

By Ria Bhatia  August 27th, 2021

Actives and acids have both become an integral part of our skincare routine. With an over-the-counter solution for every concern, we have all been able to up our skincare game. One such ingredient is lactic acid, an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) by nature that is derived from natural foods, especially dairy products like sour milk, cottage cheese and curd. It is also produced naturally in our body. Let’s find out how it helps with gorgeous skin.

What Is Lactic Acid?

Lactic acid is the most gentle chemical exfoliant that works on all skin types, including sensitive skin. Since lactic acid is an AHA, it is water-soluble and offers a deluge of benefits for the skin. Lactic acid is a solution for concerns like bumpy and dehydrated skin, acne, fine lines and wrinkles. The ingredient easily passes as an unsung hero that can gently improve the texture and appearance of your skin.

Benefits of Lactic Acid

Exfoliation: Even though it’s a chemical exfoliant, it does the job without causing irritation or redness, making it suitable for every skin type. It reveals brighter and even-toned skin with an improved texture. 

Hydration: It doesn’t happen often that an exfoliant also hydrates and nourishes the skin. This is what makes lactic acid stand apart. Since it is a humectant, it attracts moisture and make skin supple.

Controls Acne: Lactic acid has antibacterial properties which helps to keep infections and acne-causing germs at bay. Using it in mild concentrations is highly efficacious to control acne. Additionally, it also gets rid of the dead skin that can cause acne if it builds up.

Reduces Fine Lines & Wrinkles: Lactic acid expedites the collagen production that makes the skin firmer, tighter and plumper. As this happens, the fine lines and wrinkles diminish in appearance.

Improves Skin Texture: Swipe some lactic acid across your face to achieve glowing skin that is free of texture and bumps. You can leverage this property to manage keratosis pilaris a.k.a strawberry legs.

Rules To Remember

– Being an AHA, lactic acid is extremely compatible with BHAs. You’ll find many products flaunting an ideal blend of both to tick all the needs of your skin. However, you must avoid using lactic acid with retinol since both are potent ingredients and can cause irritation. 

– Lactic acid is a chemical exfoliant that can make your skin highly sensitive to the sun which is why it is a must to layer it with copious amount of sunscreen to prevent sun damage or irritation.

– Though gentle, it is still a chemical exfoliant so make sure to start with a smaller concentration thrice a week and gradually increase it. In any case, limit the usage to once a day.

– You can include lactic acid in your skincare routine by employing cleansers, face masks, serums and peels. Irrespective of the product type, it is crucial to follow up with a moisturiser to calm any redness or irritation that could occur.

ELLE’s Favourite Lactic Acid Products

1. Sunday Riley All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment 

 

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2. Daughter Earth Exfoliating Cleanser 

3. Paula’s Choice 25% AHA + 2% BHA Exfoliating Peel 

4.  Innisfree Volcanic Calming Pore Clay Mask

 

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5. Dot & Key AHA Exfoliating Sleeping Mask 

6. Kiehl’s Daily Refining Milk-Peel Toner 

 

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7. Suganda 10% Lactic Acid Exfoliating Serum 

 

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8. Ras Luxury Oils Exfoliating Face Cleanser