Lactic Acid Skincare
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What Is Lactic Acid?
Lactic acid is an AHA, short for alpha hydroxy acid. AHAs are chemical exfoliants; they dissolve dead skin cells to reveal a fresh, healthy complexion. Chemicals and acids sound scary, we know, but they are both safe and effective. Alpha hydroxy acids are derived from natural ingredients, like fruit and sugarcane.
Lactic acid, specifically, is the most gentle AHA out there. It’s naturally derived from milk (that’s why Cleopatra was known to bathe in sour milk; she unthinkingly was reaping the benefits of lactic acid) and found in many skincare treatments for sensitive, acne-prone skin. Reap its benefits by including lactic acid toners (such as our Weekend Glowing Daily Brightening Solution), facial peels, masks, and serums into your weekly routine.
The Benefits of Lactic Acid
Lactic acid shares the same benefits that all exfoliants do. Consistent exfoliation removes dead skin cells and impurities from the surface of the skin. This can help unclog pores, brighten dullness, prevent breakouts, treat dark spots, and slow signs of aging. Our Doctor’s Visit Instant Resurfacing Mask, formulated with lactic acid along with a slew of other AHAs and BHAs, can provide all of these benefits. Because this lactic acid mask sloughs away debris, it allows your other products to penetrate more efficiently and work even better.
What makes lactic acid special, however, is that it’s also a humectant. A humectant has the power to draw in (and retain) moisture. While many shy away from chemical exfoliators believing they’ll be too harsh, lactic acid skincare actually helps keep the skin soft and hydrated. It’s so gentle, it can even be applied to those who struggle with eczema and rosacea. Lactic acid is what helps keep The Shortcut Overnight Facial gentle enough for all skin types.
How to Apply Lactic Acid
Just like any chemical exfoliant, we recommend applying lactic acid during your nighttime routine when possible. That way, those fresh, new skin cells are protected against UV rays. If you do apply during the AM, always follow up with plenty of sunscreen.
Because lactic acid is so gentle, it does play well with most other skincare ingredients. When combined with BHAs, such as salicylic acid, lactic acid skincare works to brighten skin’s surface while unclogging pores—a major benefit for acne-prone skin types who want to relieve post-breakout marks and brighten up dark spots. We do, however, suggest only mixing AHAs with other active ingredients (such as retinol and vitamin C) when it’s already formulated in one product. To avoid potential irritation, use these other ingredients during separate routines.
Can I Use Lactic Acid Every Day?
It’s important to not over-exfoliate to avoid stressing out your skin and worsening existing skin concerns. Start with 1 application of lactic acid per week, especially if you’re sensitive, to see how skin reacts. You can work up to a max of 3 applications per week.
Is Lactic Acid Vegan?
Because lactic acid is naturally derived from milk, a dairy product, it is not considered vegan. It can, however, be made synthetically in a lab. Versed only uses 100% vegan ingredients, including our lactic acid.