5 Reasons to Consider Using Lactic Acid in Your Skin Care Routine

March 26, 2018
Margaret Fisher
By: Margaret Fisher | skincare.com by L'Oréal
5 Reasons to Consider Using Lactic Acid in Your Skin Care Routine

You’ve no doubt heard all the hype about alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). In today’s skin care-obsessed world, most routines aren’t complete without an active or two like an AHA. AHAs are most often included in formulations to help smooth lines, improve texture, unblock pores, and more. Despite knowing this bit of general information about AHAs, we’d guess that most people—even those who apply AHAs religiously—aren’t particularly familiar with the individual ingredients that can be categorized as AHAs. Which raises the question, how do you know which one(s) to introduce into your skin care routine? That’s why we’re sharing the benefits of lactic acid, which the FDA lists as one of the most common AHAs used in cosmetic products. Read on for five reasons you may want to add lactic acid to your skin care routine, stat.

lactic acid creams

1. Reduce Dryness

Based on what you know about acids, it may seem safe to assume that smoothing one on will result in dry, irritated skin. After all, they’re potent ingredients. But that isn’t necessarily the case. Lactic acid formulated within creams and moisturizers can be used to help hydrate dry skin. Not convinced? The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using moisturizing ointments and creams formulated with lactic acid to soothe dry skin. Additionally, Mayo Clinic shares that exfoliating creams formulated with lactic acid can help control flaking and increase skin moisture. So, if you’re still suffering from post-winter dryness, consider swapping your current lotion for a moisturizer formulated with lactic acid.

2. Increase Skin Luminosity

Over-the-counter creams and cleansers are one way to bring lactic acid into your routine but you also have the option of a chemical face peel. Chemical peels may sound scary but according to the Cleveland Clinic, lactic acid peels are one of the mildest. And the results are worth it, as a lactic acid peel can be used to provide smoother, brighter-looking skin.

lactic acid creams

3. Minimize the Look of Wrinkles

We’re always on the lookout for new ways to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles and lo and behold, lactic acid is one. If there’s room for another anti-ager in your routine, let us fill you in: A study shared by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reveals that lactic acid applied to the skin, specifically with a high-acid concentration, can help improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

4. Minimize the Look of Pigmentation

Once your skin is marked with dark spots, whether they’re the result of sun damage, acne, or something else, it can be quite the challenge to reduce their appearance. However, that doesn’t mean your skin is stuck as is. The AAD shares that lactic acid is an active ingredient used to address pigmentation, while the NCBI also states that lactic acid peels can help diminish the appearance of melasma and hyperpigmentation.

bumps on arms

5. Help Improve Keratosis Pilaris

If you have tiny, flesh-colored bumps on your arms, you may have keratosis pilaris. This harmless skin condition presents as dry, rough patches and tiny bumps on the upper arms, cheeks, and buttocks. Lactic acid may help manage the appearance of your “chicken skin”. According to Mayo Clinic, one way to address keratosis pilaris is with creams formulated with lactic acid.

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