Lactic Acid 101

Lactic acid is a very popular ingredient in skin peels. But what exactly is lactic acid, where does it come from and why should you look for it in products? All that and more below.

Lactic acid is a member of the alpha hydroxy acid family. Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are natural acids that are usually found in foods; like glycolic acid found in sugar cane or citric acid found in citrus fruits. As you may have guessed from the name, lactic acid is extracted from milk, although it can also be synthesized in a lab.

When used in skincare products, lactic acid not only exfoliates the skin, it also moisturizes. Its exfoliating properties allow the acid to gently slough off dead skin cells, improving the skin’s texture while lightening hyperpigmentation, smoothing out wrinkles and fading acne scars. Lactic acid also has humectant properties, meaning it draws water into the skin. These properties set lactic acid apart as they allow it to exfoliate without over-drying or irritating the skin.

Now that you know all about lactic acid, why not give this AHA superstar a try? Here are some of our favorite lactic acid products.

Comfort Zone Night Renewing Gel – This rinse-off intensive peeling gel-mask is perfect for anyone concerned with combatting the first signs of aging. Lactic acid teams up with gluconolactone and gylocolic acid to increase cell turnover, oxygenate cells, and eliminate dullness, resulting in smoother, softer, brighter skin.

REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate – This concentrate will gently remove dead skin cells and any blemish-causing impurities overnight. Simply apply it to clean skin and get ready to wake up looking years younger.

Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask – This mask works perfectly on combination skin and makes use of lactic acid’s gentle unclogging properties. The lactic acid works to deep cleanse, soften, and hydrate troubled skin, busting breakouts and blackheads, while the pomegranate adds an extra dose of brightening and protective properties.

Rodial Super Acids X-treme Acid Rush Peel – Brighten, moisturize, soften, smooth, and retuxturize skin with this powerful blend of alpha hydroxy acids. Lactic acid combines with glycolic and azelaic acids to fade away dark spots, reduce wrinkles and refine the skin.

Exuviance Heel Repair  – Your face isn’t the only area that benefits from lactic acid. With its exfoliating and hydrating properties, lactic acid is a great ingredient to treat dry, calloused feet. Use this cream for baby-soft, sandal-ready feet in no time.

– Rebecca Harrisson