How to add lactic acid to your skin care routine?

With modern technology and increased common sense about skin care ingredients, acids no longer have the bad rap they once had. Worrying about burning or peeling skin is certainly a thing of the past, but does that mean we can use acids at will?



Granted, skin care formulations are now so advanced that each ingredient works effectively and synergistically with few side effects. But can the same be said when different acids are layered on top of each other? That got us thinking about today's blog post, where if we're lucky we'll answer the question, "Can I use lactic acid in addition to AHAs?"


What are AHAs?


AHAs, also known as alpha hydroxy acids, are a group of chemical peels, usually derived from plant and animal sources.

AHAs are commonly formulated into many different skin care products such as: B. Serums, Toners, Cleansers, Masks and Moisturizers.

The most commonly used acids include glycolic, lactic, malic, mandelic, citric and azelaic acids.

AHAs are the most water soluble and act on the outer surface of the skin. They shed dead skin cells and debris that can build up and cause blemishes, blackheads, and flaky skin patches.

Some AHAs can penetrate deeper into the skin, unclogging dirt, bacteria, debris and excess sebum from pores.

AHAs help boost the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, resulting in firmer, plumper and youthful-looking elasticity.

They target areas of hyperpigmentation to visibly reduce dark spots, age spots and sun damage on the skin's surface.

Improves the appearance of aging skin such as b. fine lines and wrinkles.

AHAs prevent breakouts and reduce the risk of breakouts on the skin's surface.

If you want to learn more about AHAs and their skin benefits, read our dedicated blog post.

What is lactic acid?


Derived from acidic dairy products, such as milk, to help absorb the fermentable compounds found in lactose.

Known as the gentlest AHAs because of their larger molecular size, which means they can't penetrate too deep into the skin and increase irritation.

Helps break down the bond of dead skin cells to the skin's surface that can lead to acne, flaky patches, signs of aging and dull complexion.

Gently exfoliates skin, de-barriers the surface and helps other ingredients absorb quickly.

Has unique moisturizing properties, which means it draws moisturizers into the skin and keeps them on the surface. This allows the skin's barrier to contain the right ratio of water and oil, making it strong enough to defend against free radical damage such as pollution, UV rays, central heating and other environmental aggressors.

Reduces signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and loss of firmness.

Learn more about this clever acid in Beauty Insider.

Can AHAs and Lactic Acid Be Used Together?

Yes, you can, but keep in mind that these ingredients are on top of each other and have different pH levels. Ideally, wait about 15 minutes between applications to allow the skin's pH to rebalance and prepare it for the following active ingredients.


The order in which to use each acid depends on the skin care formula. It goes without saying that there is a specific way to apply your products to ensure they all deliver the best results, from the thinnest consistency to the thickest. Lactic acid and other AHAs are often found in similar formulations, so it really depends on your own preferences and the products you use in your skincare routine.


If you have a sensitive skin type that is prone to redness, lactic acid alone may help the most. Combining with other acids can cause unwanted irritation, redness, itching and discomfort. To prevent these negative effects, build skin tolerance first, then introduce and layer other acids slowly. If you have any questions about the use of lactic acid and other active ingredients, please seek the help of your doctor or dermatologist.


There are also some examples of using lactic acid with AHAs, such as:


Alternate each ingredient throughout the day. Try using lactic acid in your morning routine and then another AHA at night.

Alternate lactic or fruit acids. You don't have to use chemical peels every day, especially if your skin is prone to sensitivity. Instead, you can choose when to use active ingredients to keep your skin healthy and happy.

If you find that your skin tolerates the simultaneous use of these active ingredients, all you have to do is follow a skincare routine that is good for you and your skin.

What can lactic acid be put on?

Hyaluronic acid is considered the best combination with lactic acid. This is because hyaluronic acid, although labeled as an acid, works differently on the skin, instead providing moisture to the skin. Thanks to its moisturizing properties, hyaluronic acid can help draw moisture into the skin and lock it in. With added hydration, your complexion will become more plumped, healthy-looking, with improved clarity and fewer fine lines and wrinkles.


How to add lactic acid to your skin care routine?

A lot depends on the formulation of the product containing lactic acid. As I mentioned before, there are many different products to choose from. From cleanser to serum. If you're new to lactic acid, or any other type of acid, I recommend you start using your products in your evening routine. This allows you to reap the benefits without worrying about overexposure to free radicals such as UV rays, pollution and harsh weather.


There, you'll learn more about using lactic acid in addition to AHAs. If you have more questions, find one of our beauty experts on Instagram.

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