Lactic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) – AHA’s are relatively gentle chemical exfoliants that exfoliate the skin by gently dissolving the bonds between surface skin cells- not as scary as it sounds as it allows dead skin cells to be removed and new skin cells to be generated. AHA’s are often found in anti-aging products as our natural skin cell cycle tends to slow as we age, but they are also useful in addressing acne, reducing pigmentation, brightening skin tone, and giving your skin a smoother and plumper texture. Common AHA’s include lactic acid (which is derived from lactose) and glycolic acid (which comes from sugar cane). These two are the most common as they’re the least likely to irritate your skin. Since AHA’s don’t penetrate deep below the skin surface (due to the fact that they’re water-soluble), they’re ideal for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
Used in over-the-counter skin care products and professional treatments. It’s naturally found in milk, though the lactic acid in today’s skin care products is synthetically produced. Lactic acid is used to exfoliate the skin, lighten dark spots, and improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.