5 Things to Know About Lactic Acid in Skin Care

Lactic Acid Peels

Depending on your skin care goals, you might want to up the ante from lactic acid lotions to a lactic acid peel, also known as a chemical peel or a facial peel. Peels allow for the greatest concentration of lactic acid -- consider this bringing out the big guns against premature aging and sun damage.

Concentrations of acids vary depending on the level of damage being treated, allowing for superficial to deep peel options. Alpha hydroxy acid peels, including lactic acid, are offered in concentrations ranging from 10-70 percent, with 50-70 percent being the most common concentrations used in facial peels [source: Fabbrocini].

At concentrations greater than 30 percent, a lactic acid peel is a chemical exfoliant, dissolving dead skin cells from the top layers of skin.

AHA peels are used with good outcomes for people with pigmentation conditions such as melasma, lentigo or freckles, and may help reduce or improve the appearance of acne scars.

Peels are usually considered part of a skin care routine, not just a one-time thing. While they may help you recapture your youthful glow, take note your face may be noticeably red for several weeks post-peel.