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lactic acid

Tawni Bannister for BYRDIE

If someone told you that applying spoiled milk to your skin could get rid of blemishes and diminish fine lines, would you believe them? On the surface, it sounds like a weird Pinterest hack, but the science serves as proof. It actually dates back to Ancient Egypt when Cleopatra apparently bathed in milk for softer, smoother skin, unknowingly reaping the benefits of an exfoliating acid found in sour milk—lactic acid。现在,我们不建议您每晚在脸上撒些酸奶,因为那将是荒谬的,令人难以置信的不愉快。取而代之的是,美容品牌已经捕获并开始隔离乳酸,将其融入血清和清洁剂中,以使消费者的利益。Dhaval Bhanusali博士Hudson Dermatology & Laser Surgery解释说,乳酸现在被称为“最常见的α羟基酸之一”,并补充说它“用于改善肤色和质地,并轻轻剥落皮肤”。我们还咨询了Colonial Dames Co.的首席化学家Raymond Schep博士,也是CA毒理学家协会的成员,医学博士Jennifer L. MacGregor, at Union Square Laser Dermatology for a full perspective.

Lactic Acid

Type of ingredient: Acid/exfoliator


Who should use it:总的来说,任何具有痤疮皮肤或经常爆发的人。

您多久可以使用一次?It's only recommended for use once a day at maximum, but should probably be used once every few days.

Works well with:透明质酸等水合成分。

Don’t use with:其他酸和去角质剂,例如AHAS或过氧化苯甲酰。视黄醇也应避免。

What Is Lactic Acid?

Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele was the first to isolate the compound from sour milk, and in the late 1800s, German pharmacist Boehringer Ingelheim uncovered how to mass-produce lactic acid when he realized it was a byproduct of fermented sugar and starch in sour milk via bacteria. "Lactic acid is a light peeling agent, depending on strength," says MacGregor. She also notes that it "can smooth out the skin, making it glow." You can find lactic acid in many of the same places other Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are found, including products that advertise that they contain AHAs but don't specify which they contain.

Benefits of Lactic Acid

  • 杀死细菌:基于我们的Google Deep Dive,乳酸与皮肤相关的乳酸的研究在1900年代初至中期受到限制,但在1985年,一项研究发现乳酸有助于杀死新生婴儿的皮肤感染。It tracks that it would do the same in adults, including the irritating, acne-causing kind.
  • 减少皱纹:Later, in '96, when different concentrations were tested (5% and 12%), researchers observed that a higher concentration actually penetrated both the dermis and epidermis (5% could only reach the epidermis) for firmer, thicker skin, resulting in fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
  • 减少痤疮:It's also been proven to reduce acne lesions,so yeah, you could say it's a bit of a hero ingredient.
  • 增加细胞转换:一个ccording to Schep, it "works by increasing the rate of skin turnover, causing new and younger looking skin to grow."
  • Helps skin hold moisture:Similarly, Schep says that "The new skin may also have better moisture holding capability."

Lactic Acid vs. Other Acids

If you're wondering how it differs from other acids, like, say, glycolic acid, the lactic acid molecule is actually larger, so it can't penetrate as deeply—instead, you're getting more surface treatment (polishing, firming, exfoliating goodness). This is good news for those with sensitive skin, though, who'll likely be able to tolerate its effects better. This isn't just good news for people with sensitive skin, though, because it means lactic acid is also less likely than glycolic or salicylic acid to cause irritation and disrupt the pH of your skin barrier.So pretty much anyone can use it.If you're someone with acneic skin who needs a lot of exfoliation, you can alternate your use of lactic acid with use of something deeper like salicylic, which will clear off dead skin and deep clean your pores.


Tawni Bannister for BYRDIE

Side Effects of Lactic Acid


How to Use It

Celebrity estheticianRenéeRouleaurecommends incorporating a lactic acid product (like a serum or toner) on a three-on/three-off schedule, i.e., you should apply the acid for three nights in a row, then take a break for three nights to treat your skin with hydrating ingredients that nourish the new cells you've revealed.

一个lso, consider discontinuing strong exfoliating products such as retinoid or scrubs when you're regularly using lactic—or any—acid. "As it makes new skin grow, which may not have any pigment in it, it may cause increased susceptibility to sunburn. Therefore, it is often formulated with a sunscreen," says Schep. Since sloughing off layers of your skin also leaves you more prone to sun damage, make sure to apply an SPF of at least 30 daily (as you should be, anyway!).


DERMAdoctor KP值班 $50

伯迪(Byrdie)的社论导演说,这种磨砂膏带有剥落的α-羟基酸(如乳酸)使她“忘记”她有keratosis pilaris(一个条件,你的皮肤有小疙瘩, usually on the backs of the arms and the thighs) for at least two days.

Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment
Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment $122


Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% $7

The Ordinary is known for its high-powered serums with simplified formulas at an affordable price. This 10% lactic acid serum uniquely features purified Tasmanian pepperberry, which is meant to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity, a common side effect of exfoliation.

Nutrient Toner
PCA Skin Nutrient Toner $40

维生素,酶和氨基酸的这种结合通过去除死皮和minimizing pores

准备稳定的光芒每天都有补品8.5 oz/ 250 mL
Ren 准备稳定的光芒每天都有补品 $ 38


Sachajuan 头皮洗发水 $ 29


Kate Somerville 去角质密集的去角质治疗 $85


Squalane + 10% Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum
生物恋 Squalane + 10% Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum $62

For those who aren't familiar, squalane is a super-nourishing and incredibly clean oil that Biossance works into all their products. This is particularly helpful when paired with exfoliators, which take a bit of a toll on the skin. Although you might find yourself using the brand's鳞状 +植物视黄醇血清($ 72)晚上,这是您白天可以使用的更温和的去角质血清。(当然有SPF。)

一个rticle Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read oureditorial guidelinesto learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Naval T.,Aligui G.,Rivera E.一个study of bacterial skin colonization among newborn infants using lactic acid and hexachlorophene。1985.

  2. 史密斯WP。局部乳酸的表皮和真皮作用J Am Acad Dermatol。1996;35(3 Pt 1):388-391. doi:10.1016/s0190-9622(96)90602-7

  3. Rathi SK.粉刺vulgaris treatment : the current scenario印度J Dermatol。2011;56(1):7-13. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.77543

  4. Soleymani T,Lanoue J,Rahman Z.一种实用的化学剥离方法:对治疗的基本原理和分步算法协议的综述J Clin Aesthet Dermatol。2018;11(8):21-28.

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