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October 05, 2022
This 3-minute article ends all the confusion and clarifies the benefits of Lactic Acid vs Glycolic Acid. Now you'll be able to choose which one is best for your skin. Or how to avoid complications if you are using both.
If you're new to using acids (chemical exfoliants) in skincare, start by using Lactic Acid. It is gentler and offers an added boost of hydration. Once your skin has built a tolerance to it, you can switch or add products with Glycolic Acid formulas if they are right for your skin.
Both will accelerate cell turnover. It's important to note the higher the concentration of the acid, the more likely it will irritate the skin. This is a less is more situation. Always start with a lower concentration before moving up to stronger versions or products with a higher concentration.
Glycolic Acid is better tolerated by normal to oily skin types. It is often used for uneven skin texture or tone since it may penetrate deeper into the skin layer. Lactic Acid, on the other hand, is a milder acid. It is ideal for dry or sensitive skin.
Glycolic Acid boosts production of naturally occurring skin hydrators like hyaluronic acid, and stimulates fibroblasts in the dermis to create more collagen and elastin. Lactic Acid is one of skin's natural moisturizing factors, essential to healthy skin barrier, while it also promotes collagen production.
Glycolic Acid will work great combined with Lactic Acid, but only if both ingredients are present in the same product. Used in separate products at the same time, may be too high a percentage of each for the skin. Remember, too high a percentage can cause irritation, redness, breakouts, dryness, and even faster aging.
Even though Lactic Acid is a milder exfoliant, you shouldn't use Lactic Acid too frequently. You risk over-exfoliating your skin and disrupting its natural barrier. I recommend using Lactic Acid every other night.
Depending on the concentration, you can use Glycolic Acid every day. If you're new to chemical exfoliants, you should slowly work up to using it every day rather going full speed at the beginning.
Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid should never be used with Vitamin C. Layering these ingredients together can render them useless due to the negative impact on the pH balance of too many acids. Instead alternate use.
You might see brighter, clearer skin within minutes of using Lactic Acid or Glycolic Acid but for anti-aging benefits, it may take 10-12 weeks.
Using Glycolic Acid or Lactic Acid in your skincare routine is an effective way to get chemical exfoliation in a safe way when used correctly.
My favorite blend of Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid in a product is CBE Botanicals Scrub Away the Day Cleanser. The unique exfoliating formula makes this product effective, yet safe for most skin types.
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