Lactic acid and Sheep milk

Lactic acid and Sheep milk

Lactic acid is naturally found in milk and other dairy products.  It’s what gives yogurt and soured milk that distinctive tang and it belongs to a class of anti-ageing ingredients called alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). Sheep milk is rich in lactic acid.  Not surprisingly, historically, dairy products have been used by people across the world to soften and beautify the skin.  

Alpha-hydroxy acids 

AHAs also include glycolic acid and citric acid which makes them the darling of the skin care world and lactic acid is one of the most popular alpha hydroxy acids available. 

Today, most of the lactic acid used in skin care products and peels is synthetically produced and is specifically used to treat hyperpigmentation, age spots, and other factors that contribute to a dull and uneven complexion while improving skin tone and reducing pore appearance. However, unlike AHAs such as glycolic acid, lactic acid is milder.

Lactic acid is popular for two main reasons:

  • It can create real change in the skin if used regularly.
  • It’s one of the gentler hydroxy acids used in skin care.

All alpha hydroxy acids exfoliate and improve skin texture, but lactic acid has an extra benefit you won’t get from its AHA cousins. Lactic acid helps improve the skin’s natural moisture factor, the way the skin keeps itself hydrated. Basically, lactic acid helps to keep the skin moisturised and feeling less dry; it speeds up cell turnover and stimulates cell renewal. For more on uses, side effects and precautions head WebMD.

Improving signs of aging and smoothing skin

When you use lactic acid regularly, it can also improve signs of ageing. It stimulates collagen renewal and can firm your skin. Hyperpigmentation (sunspots or age spots) fade and fine lines and wrinkles soften and smooth out. Lactic acid won’t improve those deeper lines, though.

Interestingly, lactic acid is also the star ingredient in over the counter lotions and creams for keratosis pilaris, or those “chicken skin” bumps on the backs of the arms. Lactic acid helps dissolve the plug of skin cells that build up around the hair follicle, smoothing out the bumpiness.

Lactic Acids in over the counter products

Over the counter lactic acid products vary widely in concentration  from five percent to more than 30 percent. A higher percentage isn’t always better, though. Jumping right in with a high percentage product is a good way to irritate your skin.

If you’ve never used over the counter lactic acid before, start off with a low strength product of five percent to 10 percent max. This will let you see how your skin reacts to lactic acid, and also allow your skin some time to get used to the acid. You may find that after using up the product that you have, you’re happy with the results you’ve gotten. In that case, you can stick with the strength you’ve been using.

It’s also used in topical treatments to treat eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. You should ask your physician before adding this to your skin care routine, though.

Lactic acid is an incredibly popular AHA treatment, and one that has a good safety track record. As long as you’re listening to your skin, following the directions on the over the counter products you are using, and not pushing too strong of a product too fast you’ll likely get good results with minimal irritation.

The key is to remember, it doesn’t matter which lactic acid product or treatment you’re using, protect your skin from the sun. So, slather on the sunscreen daily (yes, even during the winter when it’s freezing and cloudy). This is one of the best ways to protect your skin from premature ageing, sunspots, skin cancer, and one of the best ways to keep your skin healthy at any age.

If you have any questions about which lactic acid product is right for you, ask your physician for recommendation and advice. Or for more information on our main ingredients read here.

  • on May 25, 2021