If you're not a skin-care junkie, the idea of dousing your face in acid might scare you. We totally understand. Typically the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word 'acid' aligns more with mayhem than skin-care magic. But, magic it is -- at least when it comes in the form of one of our very favorite skin-renewing alpha hydroxy acids, lactic acid.
Alpha hydroxy acids are a type of chemical exfoliants (along with beta hydroxy acids) that work to resurface skin. Where alpha hydroxy acids work on the skin's surface and are water soluble, beta hydroxy acids work both on the skin's surface and deep within the pore, and are oil soluble. Now that you have a better idea of the basis of chemical exfoliants, let's talk lactic acid.
As one of the most beneficial, yet somewhat underrated AHAs on the market, lactic acid is a natural exfoliant that can be found in many different foods. When infused into skincare to be applied topically, this acid gently resurfaces skin to remove the build-up of dull, dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, smoother, younger-looking complexion. Sounds pretty great, right?
It gets even better. When you apply lactic acid-infused skin-care products and treatments regularly, not only will the acid work to boost the appearance of your complexion in that moment, but it will make way to enhance the performance of all other products you layer onto your face thereafter. So, whether you apply it at night to boost your beauty sleep, or before applying foundation to create the smoothest base possible, lactic acid is one of those magical skincare ingredients that definitely deserves a spot in your routine.
Now that you're a little less intimidated by dousing your skin in acid, are you ready to give lactic acid a try? To help you find your perfect fit, here are 11 of our favorite illuminating treatments.
This dreamy blend of lactic, glycolic, tartaric, citric and salicylic acids creates a one-of-a-kind at-home facial that contains a whopping 25 percent AHAs and 2 percent BHAs. Designed to gently exfoliate skin, this antioxidant-rich (we see you, matcha) formula rids skin of built-up dead skin cells that could be causing the complexion to look dull, while simultaneously hydrating and calming for a fresh, radiant, baby-soft visage. Forget about socks, it will knock your cells off (literally). Just remember to wash it off after the recommended 20 minutes. Unlike some of the other treatments we mention, this is not a leave-on treatment.
If you love taking a good #shelfie, look no further than this aesthetically pleasing bottle of magic. When you think of the phrase 'good genes' and skin care, the idea of no-makeup perfect skin comes to mind. Sunday Riley took that to heart and created this all-in-one treatment. Formulated with high potency, purified lactic acid that immediately exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells, this treatment leaves skin smoother, brighter and fresher-looking. And, with continued use you'll even notice diminished signs of aging for a clarified, younger-looking complexion overall.
This potent, yet non-irritating skin resurfacer is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. Powered by a 10 percent concentration of 4 AHAs, you'll be obsessed with how well this liquid illuminates and smooths your skin.
Looking for a spa-like facial from the comfort of your own home? This Hollywood two-minute facial will leave you swooning. Designed to exfoliate and polish skin to reveal deeply-cleansed pores for a smoother, brighter, healthier-looking complexion, this treatment will make you feel like you just stepped out of a high-end spa.