Any time something is categorized as an acid, it automatically sounds scary, but we’re here to tell you there’s nothing to be nervous about. Lactic acid is a great skincare ingredient that you should have no qualms about using. That’s why, in this article, we’ll discuss what lactic acid is, what some lactic acid skin benefits are, and how to use lactic acid in your skincare routine!
IN A NUTSHELL
Ingredient Category: Exfoliant
Main Benefit: As an effective Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), lactic acid helps exfoliate old, dead skin to expose healthy, younger-looking skin. Found in both prescription and over-the-counter products, it’s a highly effective but gentle ingredient.
Find It In: Prince Charcoal Detox Mask.
What is Lactic Acid?
Chances are, whether it’s pertaining to skin care or science class, you’ve probably heard of lactic acid. Found naturally in the body, it is a water-soluble liquid used in skincare treatments, both over the counter and otherwise. For those of you who are super into chemistry, its official formula is C3H6O3.
Classified as an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), it performs a number of functions but is perhaps best known as an exfoliant as we’ll examine below. As an AHA, it’s more gentle than BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids), so don’t get scared off by the name!
Lactic acid is produced when certain foods go through the process of fermentation which is probably why so many people connect it with milk. In fact, lactic acid can come from any number of foods including vegetables and grains. (But not to worry- the lactic acid Fleur & Bee uses is completely vegan!)
Lactic Acid Skin Benefits
As we mentioned, lactic acid for the face has a number of benefits. Here are a few of them:
- Lactic acid is an exfoliant - Lactic acid loosens the bonds of dead skin cells. When it does, it exfoliates the skin.
- Lactic acid is a great anti-aging ingredient - When skin is exfoliated, it reveals healthy, new skin, making you look younger.
- Lactic acid smoothes the skin - You know the feeling of driving over a newly-paved road? One that previously had a bunch of potholes and bumps in it? That’s kind of the same feeling you get when you exfoliate the skin. One of the great things about exfoliants is that when they take off dead skin, they take all the rough, uneven texture off, leaving only smooth skin in its place.
- Lactic acid helps firm and tighten your look - We hate to keep harping on all the advantages of new, healthy skin, but the truth is, new skin just looks firmer and tighter which is why lactic acid is such a great ingredient.
- Lactic acid helps hydrate the skin - We know that it seems counter intuitive that something could be both an exfoliant and hydrate the skin, but it’s true. Lactic acid is a humectant which means it helps skin retain moisture.
- Lactic acid helps prep the skin for moisturizer, makeup or sunscreen - If you’ve ever tried to put makeup, moisturizer, or sunscreen on skin that hasn’t been exfoliated, then you know it doesn’t exactly go on smoothly. That’s because old, dead skin is just sitting on the surface, making it difficult for product to penetrate or go on smoothly.
- Lactic acid helps brighten the skin - If your skin has been looking a little dull or lackluster lately, try a little lactic acid. It’ll expose new skin which is much dewier and vibrant than old, dead skin! If your skin lacks that certain glow, try a little lactic acid.
- Lactic acid is great for all types of skin - Given that lactic acid helps moisturize the skin (which is great for everyone but especially great for dry skins) and helps exfoliate (which is also great for everyone but especially great for oily skins), it’s an ingredient that can really be used by everyone. Not only that, but because it’s one of the more gentle acids, sensitive skins can use it, too.
- Lactic acid helps unclog pores - If you’ve ever looked at your skin in a magnifying mirror, you know your skin probably isn’t as clean as you think it is. Lactic acid will help clean out your pores of the dirt and oil that gets stuck in them and makes skin look uneven and dull.
- Lactic acid can be used both over the counter or in professional treatments - One of the best things about lactic acid is that you don’t have to actually go to a salon to use it. There are plenty of accessible products that contain lactic acid–we might even make one ourselves as you’ll see below!
How to Use Lactic Acid for Skin
As we mentioned above, one of the best things about lactic acid skincare is that you don’t have to go to a salon to use it. In plenty of skincare products, it’s easy to incorporate into your skincare routine. Here’s one way to make that happen:
1. Cleanse the Skin
You really can’t do anything in skincare until you’ve cleaned your skin. A good thorough cleansing of the skin with a gentle cleanser that won’t dry it out is critical to making sure your skin looks the best it can. Our So Clean! facial cleanser is a perfect choice as it not only cleanses the skin, it takes off makeup as well.
2. Tone the Skin
Of all the skincare steps you could ever take, toning the skin–at least with our Rose and Shine rose water toner–is one of the easiest you could ever take. Made with just a handful of ingredients, it’s the perfect way to control excess oil, hydrate and smooth the skin, and minimize the look of pores. It also feels great when put in the fridge for a bit!
3. Apply Serum
If more people really understood what serums do, more people would incorporate them into their skincare routines! Serums are incredibly effective, in part, because they target very specific problems. For example, our Nectar of the C vitamin C serum is infused with vitamin C which works overtime to brighten the skin. Not only that, it helps diminish the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles. Made for all skin types, it’s perfect for skin that needs a little pick me up!
A skincare routine without a moisturizer is like a house without a roof–it’s just incomplete. No matter what kind of skin you have, it’s crucial that you hydrate the skin with a great moisturizer that delivers the perfect amount of moisture, gets to work on the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and evens and brightens skin tone. Thankfully, our Crème de la Cream brightening moisturizer does all those things and is perfect for every skin type.
5. Apply Eye Cream
We know what you’re thinking and yes, you do need to use eye cream no matter what age you are! As you may know from some of our other blog posts, the skin around the eye area is thinner and more delicate than the rest of the skin on your face which is why you need to take care of it with even more gusto than you do for the rest of your face! All you need to do is take a little of our Eyes Eyes Baby anti-aging eye cream on your ring finger (you’ll have less control over it and will be less likely to tug on your eye), and gently dot massage it into your eye area. Not only will it reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it will help reduce the look of puffiness, help minimize the appearance of dark circles, and hydrate the skin.
6. Treat Yourself to a Detox Mask
Skincare isn’t just about an everyday skincare routine–it’s about occasionally doing a deep clean or other treatment to make sure your skin is looking its absolute best. Our Prince Charcoal detox mask does an amazing job at really going in and getting out all the dirt and oil that everyday cleaning misses. With 32 nourishing actives–including, yes, you guessed it–lactic acid, it naturally draws impurities out of the skin, cleanses pores, and nourishes your skin so it practically glows. Using it just a few times a week will do the trick (although oily skins can probably use it a little more often).
We hope this inspires you to incorporate a little lactic acid into your skincare routine. Even if you just make it a once-or-twice-a-week event, it’s well worth a try for all the benefits it has!