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Lactic acid could be one of the most popular skincare ingredients nowadays, and we are pretty sure that you would like to know why. Of course, before diving into a new skincare routine with new products that contain ingredients that sound completely new to you, you first need to know what you are getting yourself into.
You may even be a bit scared to apply acid (such as Hyaluronic Acid and Salicylic Acid) on your face like everyone else is, but surprisingly, using lactic acid in skincare can give your skin tons of benefits which include helping exfoliate skin and improve the appearance of dry skin. Hello, blooming skin!
If you’re wondering what lactic acid really is, what are the lactic acid benefits for skin, and whether you should add lactic acid in your skincare routine, then you can get all the information you need right here.
What Is Lactic Acid?
Lactic acid is a member of the alpha-hydroxy acid family (according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information). It does not only benefit the skin but is also pretty essential to your overall physical wellbeing. Lactic acid is made naturally in the body, mostly in your red blood cells and muscle tissue. The levels of lactic acid in your body increase when arduous exercise lowers blood and oxygen flow in your body. This means that lactic acid is the chemical produced in your muscles whenever you work out.
The lactic acid in skincare products is different from the lactic acid that your body produces. Lactic acid is an AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy Acid). AHAs used in skin care products are synthetic versions taken from sugar-containing fruits. AHAs, including lactic acid, are used on the skin to help remove dead cells from the skin’s surface, thus, they are called chemical exfoliants.
Creams and lotions may provide many lactic acid benefits for skin — they help reduce the appearance of fine lines, skin discoloration, and dark spots over time, and they can also help shrink the enlarged pores. The use of lactic acid in skincare products is not limited to only cream and moisturizers, as it is also often used in professional chemical peel treatments. You can purchase products with lactic acid conveniently over the counter.
Before Using Lactic Acid in Skincare
Though there are many lactic acid benefits for skin, it should still be used with caution. You are advised to use sun protection when using products containing AHAs such as lactic acid. The reason for this is that AHAs may increase sun sensitivity. When using lactic acid in skincare products, it is best to use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every single day, as well as taking other sun-protective measures such as wearing a hat and avoiding direct exposure to the sun when outside.
If you do decide on using skincare products that contain lactic acid, remember that you will not be able to see any changes instantly. Just like most anti-aging ingredients, their results take time. Likewise, it may be a while for the lactic acid benefits for skin to be evident. Nonetheless, we’re sure you’ll get there soon!