Legend has it that Cleopetra, one of the most beautiful women in history, used to regularly take milk baths to keep her skin looking soft, smooth and youthful. Centuries later we now know that the beneficial properties of milk baths, including their ability to help reduce blemishes and fine lines, that helped her attain the title of being a woman of surpassing beauty, were due to the exfoliating acid found in milk—lactic acid.
So what exactly is lactic acid, and how can one use it to attain beautiful and flawless looking skin? Read on to find out!
What is lactic acid?
It is an alpha hydroxy acid, but much gentler compared to others from the same family, including glycolic and salicylic acid. While the latter have smaller and more powerful particles, capable of penetrating deeper into the layers of the skin to provide a greater amount of exfoliation, the former provides lighter exfoliation along with other benefits, including keeping the skin naturally hydrated, something the other AHAs don’t do.
This makes lactic acid perfect for those with sensitive skin as stronger exfoliants can cause it to get irritated and inflamed. It also doesn’t disrupt the skin’s pH levels as much, and as a result can be used by pretty much everyone hoping to reap its benefits.
By providing exfoliating benefits, lactic acid helps to greatly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and blemishes. It does so by loosening the bonds between the dead skin cells, helping to remove them and reveal clearer, radiant and smoother skin.
Benefits of lactic acid for the skin
Research has proven that lactic acid works great for acne prone skin. It’s gentle exfoliation doesn't aggravate the already inflamed skin. Instead, it effectively reduces acne lesions, giving you clearer skin.
Lactic acid has antimicrobial properties which help to clear the skin of infections. Another reason why lactic acid works to eliminate acne would be due to this property.
This AHA plays a significant role in promoting cell regeneration and cell turnover, by breaking down the proteins that bind our skin cells together. This helps to combat dull skin, making it more even toned.
Being an exfoliant, lactic acid helps to slough the dead skin cells, revealing brighter and smoother skin. This means that the age spots, pigmentation and fine lines that appear as a result of aging are also significantly reduced by consistent use of lactic acid.
By removing dead skin cells, unclogging the pores, and reducing pigmentation, lactic acid can help to make the skin’s complexion brighter and more radiant.
At higher concentrations, such as 12%, lactic acid has the ability to permeate deeper into the skin layer, making it thicker and firmer. This significantly reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
This is probably one thing that sets lactic acid apart from other AHAs. According to Dr Chan, lactic acid mimics a naturally occurring group of molecules found in our skin that helps to hydrate and maintain the skin barrier. This means that despite being an exfoliant, it doesn’t dry out the skin. Instead, it keeps the skin looking supple and moisturized.
How to use it?
- Lactic acid is safe to be used on all skin types and is recommended to be used during the night time routine. Start by applying every other night and then follow a routine of using three nights in a row, followed by using a hydrating and repairing cream on the next three nights.
- While slight tingling and redness is normal while using lactic acid, it is important to note that lactic acid shouldn’t be paired with other exfoliating ingredients to avoid any undue irritation. Pairing with retinol is also not recommended.
- If direct sun exposure is expected, don’t forget to reapply a sunscreen to prevent inflammation.
Lactic acid in Leovard products
Owing to its tremendous and mind blowing benefits, along with the ability to give clearer, firmer and youthful skin, both the Leovard Multicleanser and Elixir have been formulated using lactic acid.
The Multicleanser also contains hyaluronic acid in its formulation to give the skin a boost of hydration, along with gentle exfoliation. Both the ingredients work together to make the skin youthful and radiant by promoting the synthesis of collagen in the skin, thereby reducing wrinkles and fine lines, as well as making the appearance of blemishes and acne scars less visible.
The Elixir works wonders for spot treatment of problem areas. Several antioxidants, including lactic acid, help to reduce inflammation from acne and razor bumps, and give the skin a clearer and brighter complexion.
The benefits of lactic acid and its ability to provide clearer and smoother skin are manifold. And while it sounds absurd to take a milk bath like Cleopetra, one can very easily reap its benefits by using skin care products formulated using lactic acid. And that’s what we hope to do with the Leovard skin care products; make beauty and grooming easy, quick and fuss free.