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What is Lactic Acid?

Lactic acid is a widely used alpha hydroxy acid derived from sour milk that is far from a new phenomenon. In fact, Cleopatra is said to have bathed in soured milk to pamper her skin. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally derived ingredients used in a variety of skin care products and cosmetics. Glycolic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid and citric acid are other popular types of AHAs.

Lactic acid accelerates the sloughing process. As we age, our skin's ability to shed dead skin cells is diminished, increasing the need for specialized exfoliating products. Although less powerful than retinol-the popular Vitamin A molecule used in skin care treatments and peels-lactic acid has been heralded by many dermatologists and embraced by the cosmetics industry. Lactic acid has shown to be a superior exfoliant-peeling away the outer layers of dead skin, and revealing a healthier glow. This peeling effect causes damaged layers of skin to shed more rapidly, improving the texture of the skin- making it softer and smoother while preventing build-up of skin cells in the pores.

Keeping skin at acid pH level, lactic acid works to limit the growth of bacteria and spur the development of new cells. It works well on conditions as diverse as acne and wrinkles, as its exfoliant properties serve to eliminate dead cells regardless of their cause. Latic acid is also useful on the body as well as the face, softening tough areas such as elbows and heels.

Sunscreens and makeup will last longer with the regular use of latic acid, as it enhances the absorption of cosmetics, moisturizers and other skincare products. The molecules in lactic acid are larger than in the equally popular glycolic acid and although it doesn't penetrate into skin as deeply, its gentle exfoliating action makes it a perfect choice for regular use or those with extra sensitive skin.