Lactic acid, another AHA, is similar to glycolic but “a little bit more gentle,” according to Greenfield. Theyre the miracle tools used to fight acne, wrinkles, age spots, scarring, and uneven skin tone. Glycolic acid and lacti acid are both members of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) family. Gmyrek said you can also find some over the counter products with 12 percent lactic acid. “If this is not the case, vitamin C can be very unstable on exposure to light and essentially be useless,” she said. She also clarified that salicylic acid is a salicylate, which puts it in the same family as aspirin. Active vitamin A (retinoic acid) is … “So always, always apply SPF 30 plus, broad spectrum (UVA plus UVB) sunscreen and reapply every two to four hours!” she added. The AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) family includes glycolic acid and lactic acid, while there's just one BHA (beta-hydroxy acid), salicylic acid. Glycolic/Lactic Acid 30/20 Gel Peel with Calendula, Chamomile and Green Tea Extracts - Professional Grade Chemical Face Peel for Acne Scars, Collagen Boost, Wrinkles, Fine Lines - AHA - … Lactic acid is said to work best at a lower pH, Emma Hobson, education manager for Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute, told Harper’s Bazaar in 2018. A glycolic peel you'd get with a professional, for instance, will create quicker results than an over-the-counter product. Lactic and malic acids are larger molecules so they’re gentler and also help to hydrate dry skin. If you experience extreme itching or pain, however, you should stop using the product and contact your derm — he or she will help you find the right adjustment. Lactic acid is used to exfoliate the skin, lighten dark spots, and improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles. “It also is a chemical exfoliator, so it’s used if you want to brighten your skin, get rid of rough dead skin,” she said. Greenfield explained that products available over the counter will have much lower acid concentrations than those available in a medical setting. If you’ve got extremely inflamed, cracked, flaking or open skin, Gmyrek advised against applying acids. And we admit, they can be a little intimidating, especially since acid is often associated with chemical burns. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% 3. The Ordinary Buffet 7. ©2020 Verizon Media. If you are nervous, try using it in a face or body wash once or twice a week so it does not sit on your skin for a long period of time and you can see how your skin reacts to it. We only recommend products we have independently researched, tested, and loved. Dermatologist Erum Ilyas of Montgomery Dermatology previously told HuffPost that the concentration of vitamin C in products should be between 10 and 20 percent. I even consulted with Dr. Leslie Baumann who said “Retinoids should not be mixed with BHA (salicylic acid) or AHA (glycolic acid) because the BHA and AHA can inactivate the retinoid. Many labels for acid-based products display the percentage of acid used (i.e., 2 percent salicylic acid), informing consumers of a product’s supposed strength. While the percentage of acid is important when determining the right product, the number of free acids in a product determines its pH (and its potency), with the ideal pH level between 3.5 and 4 for at-home use. As you now know, most of the popular acids in skin care exfoliate the skin, which means they get rid of the outer layer of dead skin cells. “In general, acids with a weaker percentage and more neutral pH can be used daily, while products with a higher acid percentage and lower pH should be limited to two or three times a week,” explains Dr. Russak. But there are are few others out there, which makes choosing products both difficult and confusing. No, you should never use lactic acid and vitamin C together. The most famous members of the family are glycolic acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid. If you use glycolic or lactic acid, try to start with a formula that has pH closer to 4 not to irritate the top protective layer of the skin and 5% concentration of acid for daily use. And of course, as Greenfield noted multiple times, those with darker skin tones should approach acid use with caution to avoid any unwanted discoloration. By continuing to use our site, you accept the use of cookies. “It removes oil buildup and excess sebum production, unclogging pores for a clearer complexion,” says Michele Green, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Since acids can be drying, those with oily skin should look for a higher concentration, while those with sensitive skin should try to stay on the lower range. Glycolic acid can also disturb the production of melanin within the basal layer of the skin, making it a good option for those looking to combat hyperpigmentation. You shouldn’t just be layering them on your face all willy-nilly. “It is also good for people who have bumpy skin, typically seen on the outer arms and legs called keratosis pilaris (a common result of severely dry skin),” adds Dr. Solish. Lactic acid is considered as a gentle AHA compared to other AHA like glycolic acid. Higher concentrations will deliver more acid to the skin but come with the price of being more irritation and sun-sensitizing. Salicylic acid is a member of the BHA family. Among those two acid classes, Greenfield said the most popular acids in skin care are salicylic, a BHA, and glycolic, an AHA. Greenfield said that lactic acid, like glycolic acid, is generally well-tolerated on most skin types. This tiny molecule helps lubricate joints and keep skin plump, … For your morning routine these include: 1. Both lactic acid and glycolic acid can be used at different concentrations to effectively target a host of skincare issues, from improving acne or skin texture, reducing fine lines and discoloration, and reversing sun damage and aging symptoms. Most skin types react well to ferulic acid, Greenfield said, but again urged those with darker skin tones to proceed with caution. Lactic acid, on the other hand, is derived from milk (while experts say those with dairy restrictions should be okay, you might want to consult your derm just to be safe). She noted that they’re used for the same purposes of other AHAs and BHAs, but said they don’t seem to be as effective as glycolic or salicylic. For example, AHAs are water-soluble and they exfoliate by breaking down the outer layers of dead skin cells. It is possible to get benefits from using both glycolic acid and salicylic acid together, as long as you use correct ratio, for example, 10% buffered glycolic acid plus 1% salicylic acid, together with other added botanical ingredients. She also said glycolic acid is well-tolerated on most skin types. Therefore, it is less likely to irritate sensitive skin. Gmyrek said malic, citric, mandelic and tartaric acids are among the lesser-known and lesser-used AHAs in skin care, while there is a lesser known BHA found in willow bark extract. Instead, Gmyrek said, they could be “passing through the breaks in the skin and can cause further irritation and redness.”. The Best Vitamin C Serums, According To Skin Care Experts, An essential daily guide to achieving the good life, The Ordinary, Dermstore, Ulta, Dermstore, OleHenriksen, Lactic acid is said to work best at a lower pH, Emma Hobson, education manager for Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute, told, can break down the skin’s collagen, causing discoloration and creating wrinkles, Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice. Gmyrek suggested salicylic products should contain at least 1 percent salicylic, and Greenfield noted that salicylic acid is typically available in low percentages because it’s strong, so you don’t need to use as much. Lactic acid not only has the ability to help clear keratosis pilaris but to provide the skin with more hydration. Chemical exfoliants that include glycolic acid and lactic acid (AHAs) and salicylic acid and its derivatives (BHAs). Hyaluronic Acid: For Serious Moisture. That means it can penetrate deeper into your skin and work faster. “It is also referred to as a ‘fruit peel,’ because the acid can be found in certain foods and fruits, such as tomatoes, pineapples,” says Julie Russak, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Russak Dermatology Clinic. If you want to smooth lines and wrinkles…. Derived from milk, lactic acid belongs to a class of anti-aging ingredients called alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). “However, like aspirin, salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties which can calm the skin and minimize irritation.”. “Glycolic acid has the ability to activate and increase fibroblast cells that help produce collagen,” explains Dr. Russak. With antioxidant rich White Tea alongside moisture binding Hyaluronic Acid, exfoliator Lactic Acid and Collagen stimulant; Glycolic Acid, together they will help remove dead skin and pollution from your skin, unclog pores, reduce those visible signs … While lactic acid works similarly to glycolic acid when it comes to exfoliating, Dr. Russak notes that, because the molecules in lactic acid are larger and the pH lower, the exfoliation tends to be more surface level, “typically affecting the top-most artificial layer of the skin.” For this reason, it may take a little longer to see results when using a lactic acid-based product. Is it OK to use them every day? It's naturally found in milk, though the lactic acid in today's skin care products is synthetically produced. We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience on our site. If you are an acid virgin, lactic is generally considered a great starter acid thanks to its gentle properties and quick results. 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