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This decade is a whole new dimension for skin care, isn’t it? With the marketing tactics for the growing demand for several products because of people taking advice from anyone on TikTok, it is important to raise awareness.
From salicylic to glycolic acid, which is suitable for you? So, what does lactic acid do for the skin? To know this, we should first understand what this acid is all about.
Remember the sensation of a burn in your muscles after a run? That was your muscle burning down carbohydrates to give you energy. Let’s know more about it.
1. What is Lactic Acid?
Muscle cells and red blood cells produce lactic acid to break down carbohydrates for energy. Anything that makes your body use more oxygen than usual can result in the production of acid by your cells1.
You might have heard the term “lactate“, usually associated with milk. The fermentation of lactose leads to the production of this acid, this principle applies to the process of production of certain foods like bread and beer.
- It is released to produce energy as fuel for your body to function.
- Your liver and kidneys break it down to convert it into new glucose, which can be used by the body or stored for later.
- It signals molecules in your immune system to fight infections. and heal wounds.
- It protects you from vaginal or urinary infections since it is good at maintaining the pH levels in the body.
3. What does Lactic Acid do for the Skin?
The age-old remedy for smooth and glowing skin has always been milk which contains lactic acid. As one of the gentlest alpha-hydroxy acids, skin-care products with lactic work amazingly for dry and scaly skin.
3.1 Exfoliation and Hydration
The exfoliating and hydrating properties of lactic make it a popular ingredient for sensitive skin, skin irritation caused due to flakiness, and smoothening skin texture.
Layers of dead skin cells can be gently scrubbed and removed by the use of products containing lactic acid. A combination of beta-hydroxy salicylic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid can act as mild exfoliating agents for rough, dull, and patchy skin with bumps.
Found in lotion and moisturizers, this acid brightens dull skin and helps to improve rough and bumpy skin. Therefore, it improves the skin tone and smoothes rough texture.
3.3. Gives a Healthy and Happy Gut
Many foods high in lactic acid contain Lactobacillus, a bacteria, which is found in foods that have probiotic qualities. This helps you to boost your gut health. Healthy and glowing skin is a reflection of a healthy and happy gut.
4. What Parts of Your Body can you Use Lactic Acid on?
- You can use soap or body wash, containing lactic acid2 for bumpy strawberry skin on your legs and arms.
- You can use clinically certified skin-care products containing lactic acid on your face and neck.
- Hand creams with lactic acid can get rid of rough palms, a result of too much hand-related hard work and labour.
5. Use Necessary Sun Protection for Your Skin
Any skin exposed to UV rays needs to be protected. Wear sunscreen to prevent early fine lines and wrinkles. However, the exfoliating effects of lactic acid can leave your skin more vulnerable to sunburn and overall sun damage.
Thus, it is important to reapply your sunscreen every 2-4 hours of sun exposure.
6. Foods that Contain Lactic Acid
You are what you eat daily. Your skin absorbs what you consume. So, it is important to nurture your skin from the inside first to see it reflect on the outside. Listed below are foods that contain lactic acid:
- Bread and beer
- Fermented dairy products like cheese
- Fermented vegetables such as kimchi, pickles, and sauerkraut
- Pickled meats such as salami
- Soybean and grapes
- Legumes such as beans, lentils, and peas.
7. Is Lactic Acid Vegan?
In today’s world of the popular debate over vegan and non-vegan products, it is a valid question to ask whether lactic acid is vegan or not.
Lactic acid originates from cereals, legumes, or fermented vegetables. So, technically, it is vegan. However, lactic acid, which is found in fermented meat and dairy products, is non-vegan. The safest way to know it is to buy a certified product or ask the manufacturer.
8. Precautions for Using Lactic Acid?
8.1. Patch Tests
It is essential to do a patch test by applying a little bit of any product on your wrist or palm before using it anywhere else. This is to ensure that your skin is not reacting negatively to the development.
8.2. Use Certified Products
Use products that are medically certified or prescribed by your dermatologist.
8.3. When to See a Doctor?
Be careful and see a doctor if you experience irritation after using lactic acid.3 Do not use lactic acid on your skin if:
- You are someone with extremely sensitive skin.
- Your skin gets irritated.
- You are already using medication on your skin.
9. How do Take Care of Your Skin in Natural and Easy Ways?
It is important to utilize natural gifts before rushing to stores to buy manufactured products.
The steps to ensure that your skin is taken care of naturally are as follows-
9.1. Good Sleep
A proper sleep schedule that ensures 7-8 hours of sleep is necessary to make sure that your skin cells rejuvenate and renew themselves naturally.
9.3. Avoid Smoking or Alcohol
Smoking or consuming alcohol is harmful to your gut, teeth, and lungs. It is no wonder that your skin will look dull and dead if you have a smoking or alcohol addiction.
9.4. A Wholesome Diet
A balanced diet with adequate amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals will ensure that you have lively-looking skin.
9.5 Consume Fruits
Have at least one fruit per day, this will make sure that your skin absorbs vitamins that renew your skin cells and bring a dewy glow to your skin.
10. Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is lactic acid good for all skin?
Certain individuals should avoid using lactic acid-containing products. Lactic acid might irritate you if you have extremely sensitive skin.
2. Is lactic acid for dry or oily skin?
Lactic acid is a good exfoliator for those with oily, dry, or acne-prone skin since it is so gentle.
3. What skin types should avoid lactic acid?
Those with especially sensitive or irritated skin may be unable to manage lactic acid or use it as frequently as others.
Your skin is a protective barrier that acts as a shield for your underlying tissues and nerves. You must take good care of your skin.
Have a proper skincare routine daily, sleep properly, and ensure adequate hydration, further, using fewer chemicals on your skin is suggested. Keep your skincare routine simple and efficient. Also, consult a dermatologist first before incorporating anything new into your skincare routine.
Remember, simplicity goes a long way!
- Bertsche, Ute, et al. “Increased cell wall teichoic acid production and D-alanylation are common phenotypes among daptomycin-resistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clinical isolates.” PLoS One 8.6 (2013): e67398. ↩︎
- Bruning, Elizabeth, et al. “A 28 day clinical assessment of a lactic acid-containing antimicrobial intimate gel wash formulation on skin tolerance and impact on the vulvar microbiome.” Antibiotics 9.2 (2020): 55. ↩︎
- Schliemann, Sibylle, et al. “The lactic acid stinging test predicts susceptibility to cumulative irritation caused by two lipophilic irritants.” Contact Dermatitis 63.6 (2010): 347-356. ↩︎