Lactic Acid For Skin: Pros & Cons

lactic acid pros and cons
Lactic acid pros and cons

Looking to enhance your skincare routine? Lactic acid is one active ingredient that has become increasingly popular in recent years. A type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), lactic acid can be found in a multitude of peels, toners, and serums available on the market. It's time to integrate this powerhouse into your daily regimen for maximum results!

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using lactic acid skin peeling for the skin and who can benefit from its use.

What is Lactic Acid?

lactic acid peels
Lactic acid peels

Lactic acid, classified as an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) renowned for its exfoliating capabilities, forms naturally through the fermentation of milk or other carbohydrates. Lactic acid is unique among AHAs as it has a larger molecule size, making it less irritating compared to other AHAs such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid. This makes lactic acid a suitable option for those with sensitive skin.

How Does Lactic Acid Work on the Skin?

Lactic Acid is a powerful exfoliant that acts on the skin to delicately remove dead skin cells. It works by breaking down the bonds between them, allowing for smoother and softer-looking skin with each application. So go ahead and give yourself some extra pampering - your beautiful complexion will thank you!

This helps to unclog pores, remove impurities, and reveal fresher, brighter skin underneath. Additionally, lactic acid helps to stimulate collagen production in the skin, which can improve skin tone, texture, and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

The Pros of Using Lactic Acid for Skin

The most advantageous aspect of utilizing lactic acid on the skin is its gentle, exfoliating action. Compared to other Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), it has a lower potential for causing irritation, making it ideal for those with sensitive or delicate skin types. Additionally, lactic acid also works as a natural emollient - hydrating and softening the complexion and skin's surface texture concurrently!

Additionally, lactic acid can help stimulate collagen production, which can result in firmer, more youthful-looking skin. Its ability to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells also makes it beneficial for acne-prone skin, as it can help prevent breakouts and improve the appearance of acne scars.

The Cons of Using Lactic Acid for Skin

Lactic acid has many advantages, yet we must be cognizant of its potential drawbacks. One main disadvantage is that it may not be suitable for all skin types and sensitivities; even though lactic acid tends to be less irritating than other AHAs, there's still the possibility of irritation, redness or peeling if high concentrations are used or if your skin isn't prepared for exfoliation products.

It is important to start with a low concentration and patch test before applying it to the entire face. Benzoyl peroxide and Salicylic acid are a beta hydroxy acid, which means the hydroxy part of the molecule is separated from the acid part by two carbon atoms, as opposed to an alpha hydroxy acid where they're separated by one carbon atom which can be better than lactic acid for specific types of skin.

Who Should Use Lactic Acid?

For those with oily, acne-prone skin or sensitive complexions looking to improve texture and tone, lactic acid can be a great solution. However, it's essential to assess your unique facial characteristics - such as skin type and potential sensitivities - in order to ensure the most beneficial results when introducing this product into your skincare regimen.

Consulting with a dermatologist or skincare professional can help determine if lactic acid is suitable for your skin and how to use it safely.

How to Use Lactic Acid Safely?

To uselactic acid safely, it is important to follow some guidelines. Here are some tips:

Start with a low concentration:

If you are new to lactic acid or have sensitive skin, start with a low concentration product, typically around 5% or lower, to allow your skin to acclimate to the exfoliating effects of lactic acid. You can gradually increase the concentration over time if your skin tolerates it well.

Patch test before applying to the entire face:

Before applying lactic acid all over your face, it is essential to perform a patch test. Apply a small amount of the lactic acid product on a discreet area of your skin, such as behind the ear or on the jawline, and wait for 24 hours to see if any adverse reactions occur, such as redness, itching, or irritation.

Follow product instructions:

Always follow the instructions provided by the product manufacturer or skincare professional to apply lactic acid. Avoid leaving lactic acid on the skin for longer than recommended or using it more frequently than instructed. Overuse of lactic acid can lead to skin irritation, dryness, and damage.

Use sunscreen during the day:

Lactic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it is crucial to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 during the day when using lactic acid in your skincare routine. This helps to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and prevent further skin damage.

Avoid using lactic acid with other exfoliants:

Combining lactic acid with other exfoliants, such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid, can increase the risk of skin irritation and damage. It is best to avoid using multiple exfoliating products together and follow a simple skincare routine to prevent over-exfoliation.

Moisturize and hydrate:

Lactic acid can be drying to the skin, so it is essential to moisturize and hydrate your skin regularly. Look for gentle and hydrating skincare products that can help replenish the skin's moisture barrier and prevent dryness or flakiness.

In conclusion, lactic acid can be a beneficial ingredient for the skin, providing gentle exfoliation, stimulating collagen production, and improving skin tone and texture. However, it is important to consider your skin type, sensitivity, and follow product instructions for safe and effective use. If you have a skin sensitivity or any concerns or questions about using lactic acid, it is recommended to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional for personalized advice.

At Kosme Aesthetics we do not use lactic acid.


Because after we tried 3 different lactic acids and 3 different mandelic acids, we chose mandelic acid because it was more effective at clearing acne and was gentler on the skin.

Kosme Aesthetics Acne Facial Promo:

We believe in a clear pricing model that is free of unethical hidden fees.

Our Acne Facial prices: 1 trial session for $100 only, after that, it'll be $380/month for 2 sessions.

Every facial session includes extraction, specialised ampoules, and customised masks.

No Packages, No Hard Selling, No Hidden Fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of lactic acid?

The benefits of using lactic acid peel include improved skin texture and tone, stimulation in collagen production, gentle exfoliation (helps remove dead cells and oily skin), reduction in wrinkles/fine lines and overall brighter complexion.

What are the cons of lactic acid on skin?

The main con is that it may cause irritation or other adverse reactions when used incorrectly or by individuals with more sensitive complexions. Additionally, overuse may lead to excessive dryness and flakiness in dry skin due to its exfoliating effects.

What are the lactic acid pros and cons on skin?

The pros of using lactic acid peel on your skin include improved texture, tone, collagen production and exfoliation. The cons include potential irritation or adverse reactions in those with sensitive skin as well as an increased risk for sun damage due to its photosensitizing effects.

What are the disadvantages of lactic acid?

Lactic acid peels work to exfoliate and resurface the skin, which can cause skin irritation and other reactions in those with more sensitive skin. In addition, overuse of lactic acid products can lead to dryness, flaking, and additional damage to the skin.