Lactic acid has recently increased in popularity—and for a good reason. Here, we detail why it is the new product that you should be adding to your skincare routine in 2021. An alpha hydroxy acid (known for rejuvenating skin), lactic acid is used in over-the-counter skincare products and professional treatments. It’s designed to resurface rough and tired skin by gently dissolving dead skin and other bad cells. The result? It leaves you fresh-faced and glowing.
Lactic acid can be naturally found in dairy products (this is why a lot of moisturizers include milk ingredients), which have historically been used by people to beautify and soften the skin. But you’re here to know the benefits of lactic acid, and here they are: lactic acid exfoliates your skin and helps duller and older cells resurface and slough away. This happens by dissolving the bonds between these cells. So, essentially, it speeds up cell turnover and stimulates cell renewal. By doing this, it buffs out rough patches and fine lines and adds a dramatically positive impact on your complexion.
Since it’s first and foremost an exfoliating agent, it can be easily found in serums and peels. Sometimes, it can be found in lighter doses in moisturizers, cleansers, and toners.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use lactic acid on your skin:
Using a serum is the easiest way to get the benefits of lactic acid. Wash your face, apply the serum, and then moisturize, allowing it to soak into the skin immediately. The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid is affordable and contains a perfect amount of the acid. You can start including it in your nighttime routine, where you apply it before bed and follow with a soothing night cream. This will assure you wake up visibly brighter.
Get it from The Ordinary for $6.80.
Using a moisturizer is another great way to introduce lactic acid into your skincare. This lactic acid oil-free moisturizer from Dermalogica is a little on the pricey side, but is terrific for all skin types. Though it has gentler exfoliating effects than serums and peels, it still nourishes the skin. This won’t clog your pores, and will ensure your skin remains smooth and firm.
Get it from Dermalogica for $69.
A cleanser is always an understated element of any skincare routine. OSEA’s lactic acid cleanser uses acid that is derived from beets and ensures that inconsistent surfaces are bluffed away. It also flushes out your pores and nourishes your skin with juniper oil, sesame, and jojoba.
Get it from Standard Dose for $48.