More and more skincare products are based on lactic acid. Here you can find out what the fruit acid can do and how to use the lactic acid peeling correctly.
The essentials in brief
Lactic acid peeling is one of the fruit acid peelings, also called AHA.
With lactic acid peeling, the concentration of the acid is important. Start with a low concentration first.
The lactic acid peeling removes dead skin cells, sebum, and cornification very reliably and gently and ensures a fresh, even complexion.
What exactly is lactic acid?
Lactic acid, also known as lactate or lactic acid, is one of the so-called hydroxy acids. Like citric acid, malic acid, or glycolic acid, it belongs to the group of alpha hydroxy acids, the (and you may already be familiar with this term) AHAs. Since these acids are often found in fruit, they are also called fruit acids. Basically, lactic acid has nothing to do with milk itself but occurs naturally in plants.
Lactic acid is very popular in cosmetics. Lactate is mainly used in the form of peeling because it has a great peeling effect on the skin. However, it is usually produced synthetically in the laboratory for cosmetic purposes. You can now find out exactly how lactic acid affects the skin.
How does lactic acid peeling work?
Lactic acid is known for its exfoliating properties. But she has even more to offer. How exactly lactic acid works and what it does do:
Lactic acid is often used in cosmetics as a chemical peeling because it has a catalytic effect on the skin. This means that when applied to the skin, the acid will react with the top layer of skin, loosening dead skin cells, sebum, and another buildup. In contrast to mechanical peelings, which peel off the skin cells with fine abrasive particles, the acid here dissolves the calluses and can also free the pores, thus avoiding impurities. The healthy skin cells are spared. The effect:
- The skin appears fresher, rosier, and even
- With regular use, the skin gets fewer impurities
- The skin can better absorb active ingredients from creams, serums, and the like
Lactic acid is one of the so-called Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs) of the skin. So it occurs naturally on the top layer of skin and ensures that it is kept moist. Lactic acid has the ability to bind and store water.
The lactic acid peeling can also ensure that the skin no longer dries out so quickly. It also supports the skin’s natural protective acid mantle and does not upset the skin’s natural pH value. The effect:
- The skin remains healthy and intact
- The skin is better protected against drying out again
- The skin is not so irritated after the peeling
Lactic acid also has anti-aging effects. It stimulates the body’s own cell renewal. Not only are the dead skin cells removed, but new ones can also form better and faster. And collagen and ceramide production is also boosted by lactic acid. This can also affect:
- The skin is more elastic
- The skin has more elasticity
- With regular use, the skin appears plumper and younger
For whom is the AHA peeling suitable?
You might be thinking to yourself: “Chemical peeling, acids? That can’t be good for the skin”, but even if we’re talking about acids here, you don’t need to worry about your skin. Lactic acid is very gentle on the skin and is even suitable for sensitive skin in low concentrations.
Due to the relatively large molecular size, the lactic acid does not penetrate too deeply into the skin, which is why the peeling is particularly gentle. It is therefore basically suitable for every skin type.
It is only important that you pay attention to the concentration of the acid. If you’ve never used an AHA peel before, high levels of acid can irritate or irritate your skin. Therefore, always start with a low concentration (maximum 2 percent lactic acid) and gradually get your skin used to the new peeling.
Handling particularly strong fruit acid peelings is left exclusively to professionals. You can have high-concentration chemical peels carried out by a dermatologist to treat skin problems such as acne, pigment disorders, or scars.
Several sessions are usually necessary here, which can cost around 50 to 150 euros per treatment. If you don’t have any severe skin problems, you can also use the lactic acid peeling at home for much less money. You can find our favorite products here.
Application: This is how the peeling works
If you want to treat pigment spots, scars, or acne with lactic acid peeling, you should go to a dermatologist and get advice here. If you don’t have any particular skin problems, you can use a low concentration of peeling yourself at home. We will now explain how to do this step by step:
- Thoroughly cleanse your face to remove all makeup residue.
- Lactic acid peels come in different forms: as a powder, as a liquid, or as peeling pads. Therefore, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for use and apply your peeling accordingly.
- Make sure you avoid the mouth and eye area.
- The exposure time is also important. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly and never leave the peeling on for longer, otherwise, your skin can become easily irritated.
- Then wash off the peeling with warm water and don’t forget to moisturize afterward. During the day you should also apply sun protection (at least SPF 30) to the skin, as the skin is now more sensitive to solar radiation.
You should initially use a fruit acid peeling once a week at most, better once every two weeks, so that your skin gets used to the treatment. After that, you can use it up to two or three times a week. Some manufacturers recommend daily use, but we would advise against it. Your skin doesn’t need to be exfoliated every day and is happy about the exfoliation-free days when it can regenerate.
Our experiences with a lactic acid peeling
I also tested the lactic acid peeling myself. I used The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%, but you can use any other exfoliant suitable for your skin type.
These are my experiences:
I usually use a stronger AHA peel. However, every now and then (especially in winter when my skin is dry) my skin is slightly irritated, dry, and more sensitive after the peeling. That’s why I used The Ordinary’s slightly milder lactic acid peeling. The scrub was super easy to use. Simply apply the liquid to the skin, leave it on for a short time, and then wash it off.
Afterward, my skin was not reddened or irritated at all and still seemed a little freer from the dead skin cells and sebum deposits. At the same time, my skin didn’t seem dried out, and also took my serum directly afterward. I can recommend lactic acid peeling to anyone who wants mild peeling that efficiently removes dead skin cells and other deposits from the skin. It is especially good for normal to dry skin.