5 Things to Know About Lactic Acid in Skin Care

Drawbacks to Lactic Acid in Your Skin-care Regimen

Alpha hydroxy acids may be a good remedy against fine lines and wrinkles, acne and acne scarring, and other skin problems but they don't come without problems themselves.

AHAs are known to have a few drawbacks -- some people may not find this bothersome while others find they can't live with the side effects. It's going to depend on your own individual factors but two big things are the standouts: your skin type and the strength of the product you're using.

The most common side effect of skin care products containing lactic acid is skin irritation. It may sound a bit backward that the very thing you're applying to your skin to make it smooth, young and beautiful causes peeling and redness, but that's why there's a saying about suffering for your beauty, right? Irritation is often temporary, and while it may be worse for those with sensitive skin even the oiliest, inflamed skin may experience some peeling or irritation.

Using lactic acid creams, lotions and peels also increases your skin's sensitivity to the sun, so it's important to be vigilant about sun protection, from regular applications of sunscreen to remembering to wear a hat, every day.

For more information, see the links below.

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More Great Links


  • A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. "Cost of Chemical Peels." 2009. (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.aboardcertifiedplasticsurgeonresource.com/chemical_peel/cost.html
  • Annie B. "Cleopatra's Milk Bath Formula." Care 2. 1999. (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.care2.com/greenliving/cleopatras-milk-bath-formula.html
  • Cure Research. "Symptom: Skin texture changes." (Accessed 7/22/09) http://www.cureresearch.com/sym/skin_texture_changes.htm
  • Drugs.com. "Lactic Acid." (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.drugs.com/cdi/lactic-acid-lotion.html
  • Fabbrocini, Gabriella. “Chemical Peels.” Medscape. 2012. (Nov. 13, 2012) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1829120-overview#showall
  • Gisquet, Vanessa. "Most Expensive Cosmetics." Forbes. (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.forbes.com/2005/04/20/cx_vg_0420feat.html
  • Howard. “Glycolic Acid Vs. Lactic Acid.” The International Dermal Institute. (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.dermalinstitute.com/us/library/26_article_Glycolic_Acid_Vs_Lactic_Acid.html
  • Lactic Skin Care. "Lactic Acid Resource Center." (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.lacticskincare.org/
  • Lennon, Christine. "Do-It-Yourself Facial Peels." New York Times. 2005. (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/29/fashion/thursdaystyles/29peels.html?scp=2&sq=chemical+peel&st=nyt
  • Skincare News. "Lactic Acid." 2008. (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.skincare-news.com/a-2256-Lactic_Acid.aspx
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Guidance: Labeling for Cosmetics Containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids.” 2005. (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/ucm090816.htm
  • WebMD. “Alpha Hydroxy Acids.” (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-977-ALPHA%20HYDROXY%20ACIDS.aspx?activeIngredientId=977&activeIngredientName=ALPHA%20HYDROXY%20ACIDS
  • WebMD. "Cosmetic Procedures: Chemical Peel Treatments." 2007. (Nov. 13, 2012) http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/guide/cosmetic-procedures-chemical-peel-treatments


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