lactic acid skincare benefits

The very idea of applying dairy on your skin probably sounds far from appealing to you but did you know bathing in milk has been a common practice for millenia? Legend has it, Cleopatra used to actually bath in milk regularly to soften her skin and keep her looking glowy and vibrant. Because we are in the 21st century, receiving the skin benefits of milk has become easier than ever with the skin care ingredient lactic acid. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid compound that is derived from sour milk. The larger molecular makeup on this ingredient makes it perfect for sensitive skin types and is most known for its exfoliating, smoothing abilities. The following are some ways lactic acid can transform your skin. 

1. Demonstrates anti-aging benefits. When your skin lacks exfoliation, dead skin begins to buildup on the outermost surface resulting in cracked, dull skin. This dead skin also contributes to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Our healthy skin cells on the outermost layer normally shed around every two to three weeks. However, as we age the shedding process slows down leading to dehydrated, textured skin. Lactic acid’s exfoliating properties work to increase skin cell turnover to improve fine lines and wrinkles. A study conducted in 1996 found that a 5% concentration of lactic acid showed smoothing benefits and eliminated fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Helps fight breakouts. Breakouts are caused when dirt, bacteria and oil are clogging your pores. The exfoliating properties of lactic acid work to clarify pores and remove any impurities that may lead to blemishes & breakouts. Because lactic acid is one of the more gentler AHAs, it can also help reduce acne lesions, inflammatory acne or irritated breakouts. When a harsh exfoliant is used, your blemishes tend to get irritated and red, therefore appearing more inflamed. That’s why a gentle exfoliant like lactic acid is needed to avoid this irritation. 

3. Fades discoloration and dark spots. Skin discoloration and dark spots can often be a result of UV damage to the skin. Lactic acid works to help fade these dark spots by speeding up cell turnover and increasing collagen production to bring new skin to the surface. A 2005 study even demonstrated that lactic acid helped to fade dark spots found in melasma. The exfoliation process removes the darker dead skin cells to bring fresh, bright skin cells to the uppermost layer of the skin and even skin tones.

4. Deeply hydrates. Many AHAs can often leave your skin feeling dry but lactic acid is actually known as the most hydrating AHA. The ingredient works to attract moisture onto itself and acts to attract water molecules into your skin’s surface. Lactic acid also helps your skin with moisture retention so your complexion stays soft and hydrated for longer. 

How to use lactic acid.

Since lactic acid is milder than the other AHAs, it works as a great exfoliant for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. Lactic acid is most effective when applied topically through a serum twice a day. If you are looking to enter the realm of lactic acid serumsFYAB Health’s Renewal Serum & Blemish Control Serum incorporates these gentle AHAs to revitalize your skin & reveal a glowing, younger-looking complexion. 


Smith WP. Epidermal and dermal effects of topical lactic acidJ Am Acad Dermatol. 1996;35(3 Pt 1):388-391. doi:10.1016/s0190-9622(96)90602-7

Rathi SK. Acne vulgaris treatment : the current scenarioIndian J Dermatol. 2011;56(1):7-13. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.77543

Sharquie, K. E., Al-Tikreety, M. M., & Al-Mashhadani, S. A. (2005). Lactic acid as a new therapeutic peeling agent in melasma. Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic       Surgery [et al.]31(2), 149–154.

Soleymani, T., Lanoue, J., & Rahman, Z. (2018). A Practical Approach to Chemical Peels: A Review of Fundamentals and Step-by-step Algorithmic Protocol for Treatment. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology11(8), 21–28.


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