Imagine submerging yourself in a bathtub filled with milk. Letting its glistening white droplets trickle down your skin. Allowing it to work its magic and making your skin look luminous and iridescent.
Sounds absurd, right?
But it isn't too far-fetched, because it is said that the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, owed her beauty and magnificence to her infamous milk baths.
In fact, in ancient times, taking milk baths was not uncommon, and people did so to benefit from the ability of milk to make the skin look radiant, soft and youthful.
But who can take milk baths anymore?
Nowadays, with busy schedules and routine, no one has the time and energy to spend bathing in milk. Even if one wished to, it seems pretty impractical. Think about all the milk that would be wasted!
We absolutely do not recommend it. But what we do recommend is incorporating the magical ingredient found in milk that lends it the ability to transform the skin, making it look flawless and luscious; lactic acid.
If you’re interested in learning all about this miraculous ingredient, read on.
What is Lactic acid?
Lactic acid is an exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid that is naturally found in milk and is a gentler member of the AHA family as compared to others in the same group. Lactic acid is best known for its ability to revive and refresh dull and uneven skin. Lactic acid provides a lighter exfoliation which is suitable for sensitive skin because other harsh exfoliants can cause the skin to get irritated and inflamed. Exfoliation properties of the lactic acid help in treating acne scars, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, blemishes and fine lines, lending the skin unmatched radiance and glow.
Benefits of using lactic acid
- Reduces pigmentation and acne scar: When it comes to reducing pigmentation and acne scars, AHA’s are the best type of acids that can be used. Lactic acid works by breaking down the dead skin cells, leading to the regeneration of newer skin cells. This in turn helps in reducing the appearance of acne scars, pigmentation and the damage from the sun, helping to do away with the dullness of skin.
It improves the overall texture of the skin: Lactic acid not only aids in brightening up and refreshing the skin, it also helps in increasing the natural moisturizer factors of the skin due to its bigger molecule size and the fact that it only targets the top layer of the skin. As the natural moisturizers have been increased, it also means that the skin will not be stripped off of its natural oils making it look fresh and radiant.
Helps in tightening the skin: According to a study, incorporating lactic acid into your skin care routine can help in tightening and firming the skin as it promotes the synthesis of collagen. This also means that the skin will have fewer fine lines and wrinkles making its use a great way of keeping early signs of aging at bay.
- Encourages cell turnover: Lactic acid plays a significant role in promoting cell regeneration and cell turnover by getting rid of the dead skin cells through gentle exfoliation. This helps in combating dull skin by evening out the skin tone.
Who should use lactic acid?
Lactic acid is suitable for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin types. When compared with other AHA and BHA acids, lactic acid is a mild exfoliant which does not cause skin irritation and redness. Other AHA and BHA acids have smaller molecules, whereas lactic acid has larger molecules which do not penetrate the skin layers as deeply, providing a lighter exfoliation. In other words, lactic acid is not as strong but is still very effective which is best for sensitive skin which is easily prone to irritation.
When to use Lactic Acid?
- Lactic acid is recommended to be used during the nighttime skincare routine. Whenever incorporating a new serum in the routine, it is recommended to always perform a patch-test first.
- Apply a thin layer, once daily in the evening after using the toner but before applying the moisturiser.
When not to use Lactic Acid?
Slight tingling and redness is normal after using lactic acid, however, there are certain exfoliating ingredients which should not be mixed with lactic acid to avoid undue irritation and inflammation.
Lactic acid should not be used with products containing vitamin C, which too is a type of acid. A mixture of these two ingredients will create an imbalance in pH levels of the skin making both the acids useless. So make sure to use the former at night time and the latter during the day. Also, lactic acid should never be paired with retinol.