Chances are, you’ve heard of lactic acid, but you may wonder why in world you should put it on your face. After all, doesn’t it sound rather, er, milky?
In a sense, you’re right. Lactic acid is most commonly found in milk and dairy products; however, this powerful alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is found in many foods and is produced by our own bodies. It’s also one of the gentlest AHAs and is easily tolerated by the skin, which is why it’s such a popular ingredient in skincare, but that’s not all.
What are AHAs?
AHAs are powerful naturally occurring chemical compounds that boost the turnover of skin cells to exfoliate and nourish the skin. As mentioned above, it’s gentle and provides lasting benefits to a range of skin conditions. Even if you have perfect skin, using products that contain lactic acid will help you maintain your healthy glow.
The benefits of lactic acid
Clean skin is the foundation of a healthy skincare routine. Regardless of your skin concerns, all treatment starts with well-cleansed skin. When included in a cleanser, it takes cleansing to the next level. Here’s how:
Better product absorption
Cleansing helps clear the pores of the dirt and debris our skin is exposed to every minute of the day. Lactic acid removes deep-down debris and environmental toxins. As a result, the skin is able to readily absorb the active ingredients of your favorite products.
What’s the one thing standing between you and a smooth, healthy glow? Dead skin cells. Sounds gross, right? Your skin is always producing new healthy skin cells; unfortunately, they’re often hidden by a top layer of dull, dead skin. Lactic acid not only helps skin ramp up cell production, but it also sloughs away dull skin to reveal the beautiful skin beneath. The result is a smoother, more even complexion.
Do you know what else is revealed when dead cells are cleared away? Brighter skin. Lactic acid keeps the skin “blahs” away by gently clearing the way for fresher, brighter skin. If other exfoliating methods leave your skin feeling red and irritated, switch to a cleanser containing lactic acid for all the benefits of exfoliation without the irritation.
Rebuild your moisture barrier
A well-functioning natural moisture barrier is critical to healthy skin. Lactic acid stimulates the production of ceramide, a lipid molecule that helps bind water and lipids together, basically helping to lock in moisture. The result is a healthier, well-nourished complexion.
Reverse signs of aging
All of this – the increased cell renewal, the removal of dull, dead skin cells and improve moisture – lead to one of the biggest benefits of lactic acid: anti-ageing! As we get older, our skin cells slow down, so to speak; meaning cell renewal and turnover is slower than it was when we were 20 and our skin may become drier. Improve the overall function of our skin at the cellular level to reveal a youthful complexion.
Helps Retinol/Vitamin A absorption
The benefits of lactic acid are even more profound when you combine this powerful AHA with your favorite Retinol and Vitamin A products. Since lactic acid deep cleanses your pores, the active ingredients of your anti-ageing products are able to absorb more deeply into the skin and transform it from the inside out. Not only will you see results sooner; you’ll also experience longer-lasting results as well.
So, is lactic acid an ingredient in your favorite cleanser? Take a look at the label and if you don’t see lactic acid amongst the ingredients, switch to one that has it!