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Lactic Acid Peel: Benefits, Uses, Skincare Tips & Results

Did you know that Lactic Acid is believed to be Queen Cleopatra’s beauty secret? This Alpha-hydroxy acid might be exactly what your skincare routine is missing.

Lactic Acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that’s naturally produced as a byproduct of anaerobic respiration by bacteria. Due to a larger molecular size, Lactic Acid for skin is one of the gentlest AHAs. It works by dissolving bonds between skin cells which makes the removal of dead skin cells easier. It removes the top most layer of skin and leaves behind a brighter complexion. 

  • Lactic Acid can help treat hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
  • It can increase the cell turnover rate.
  • It gently exfoliates the skin and prevents clogged pores.
  • It may have a brightening effect on the skin.
  • It may help fade scars.
  • It may improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • It is effective against Keratosis pilaris a.k.a chicken skin.
  • Lactic Acid is more moisturising in comparison to other AHAs.

 

Lactic Acid is available in many concentrations, in a variety of OTC products and beauty treatments. So how to choose the right one for you? While choosing a product, concentration is key. If you’re a beginner, start with a low concentration. What’s low you ask? A concentration of 5% is available in the market, which is perfect for beginners. Once your skin’s accustomed to Lactic Acid, you can move on to higher concentrations of 10%-15%. When it comes to the actual products, it’s really all about preference and convenience. Pick a product that fits into your routine well. 

Using AHAs can be scary for those with sensitive skin and that’s where Lactic Acid comes in. Due to a large molecular size, it doesn’t penetrate as deep as other AHAs such as Glycolic Acid and is gentler on the skin in terms of exfoliation. Lactic Acid also happens to be a hydrating ingredient which can be beneficial for dry skin. This is exactly why it’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Lactic Acid comes in many forms in the market so there’s plenty of options to choose from, to include Lactic Acid in your skincare routine. Here’s how you can use some of the products with Lactic Acid-

  • Face Washes- Face washes with Lactic Acid generally have a lower percentage of it, making it safe to be used every day. Besides, unlike other products, face washes are meant to be in contact with the skin for a shorter period of time which makes it a good choice for sensitive skin types. Using face washes with Lactic Acid can ensure mild exfoliation, help tackle acne and keep the skin clear wash after wash. 
  • Serums- Serums are a great way to incorporate Lactic Acid into your routine. They stay on the skin for longer periods of time, allowing the Lactic Acid to work more effectively. Lactic Acid is also often combined with other beneficial ingredients in serums, which provide multiple benefits for the skin. There’s a wide range of concentrations of Lactic Acid available in serums. Start by using a concentration of 5% if you’re a beginner and then gradually move to higher concentrations. A Lactic Acid serum is advised not to be used more than thrice a week, and it should only be used at night time to avoid the risk of irritation. Again, start by using it once a week and work your way up. 
  • Scrubs- If you miss the feel of using a physical exfoliator but want to enjoy the benefits of an AHA, you can opt for a scrub containing Lactic Acid. Similar to face washes, these are meant to be washed off in a short amount of time. Scrubs face washes can also be an effective solution for ingrown hair and keratosis pilaris.
  • Moisturisers- Moisturisers with Lactic Acid is a good choice for those looking to gently exfoliate the skin while moisturising it. Since it’s usually in combination with other hydrating and moisturising ingredients, Lactic Acid can safely be used every day in moisturiser. But then again, it depends on the concentration. It’s essential to follow instructions while using any product.
  • Peels- Peels happen to be one of the strongest forms of exfoliation at home. Depending on the concentration, these are meant to be used only once a week or twice/ thrice a month. While some peels with Lactic Acid can be left on for a longer period of time, some are meant to be washed off after a while. Follow the instructions and see what works for your skin.
  • Masks- Face masks are a great way to incorporate Lactic Acid into your routine. It can show optimum results in a short period of time, leaving behind a brighter, smoother complexion. 

It’s best to use Lactic Acid for skin in the night time to avoid any skin irritation. Also, always remember to follow up with a moisturiser and use sunscreen while using Lactic acid.

  • Vitamin C- Vitamin C and Lactic Acid are both acidic in nature. Using both of these together may cause the skin to become too acidic creating a risk of irritation.
  • AHAs- Using multiple AHAs in your skincare routine is a bad idea as it can cause extreme dryness and irritation. Pick a single AHA product and stick to it instead of using multiple products.
  • Retinol- Retinol is also an exfoliating ingredient. Using Retinol and Lactic Acid together may lead to over exfoliation of the skin. 

 

Although Lactic Acid is fairly gentle and side effects aren’t as common compared to other AHAs, it’s still an acid which may cause irritation. The side effects associated with Lactic Acid are-

  • Redness
  • Peeling of the skin
  • Burning or tingling sensation
  • Itchiness
  • Inflammation

As with other AHAs, using Lactic Acid can make your skin extra sensitive to the skin. What this means is that the potential of damage that the sun can do to your skin normally (which is a lot) is increased tenfold. So, ideally any benefits you will see due to the use of Lactic Acid may be revered due to sun damage. Hence, it’s essential to diligently use sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 while using Lactic Acid in your routine.

Deconstruct Beginner’s exfoliating serum with 5% Lactic Acid + 0.5% Probiotics is gentle exfoliating serum which has a mild formula, making it perfect for beginners. Probiotics in combination with Lactic Acid can help relieve a wide range of skin problems and exfoliate the skin effectively. It also contains 1% Hyaluronic Acid which keeps the skin hydrated while exfoliation.

Lactic Acid is a wonderful AHA touted for its compatibility with sensitive skin. With consistent use, Lactic Acid can help treat a number of skin problems and keep the skin bright and luminous. Best part? It’s beginner friendly and suitable for most skin types.

  • How long does Lactic Acid take to show results?

Although it varies depending on the product and concentration you choose to use, it may take 4to 6 weeks to see significant results while using Lactic Acid. 

  • Can Lactic Acid be used every day?

No, it’s best to avoid using Lactic Acid every day and stick to using it every alternate day. Although, there are milder formulas such as ones in the form of face washes, which are meant for everyday use.

  • Can Lactic Acid lighten skin?

Lactic Acid works by exfoliating the top layer of the skin, which results in brighter, smoother skin. Consistent use may cause the skin to appear significantly brighter. 

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