By now, most people are aware that they need a decent cleanser, a trusty serum, and a hydrating moisturizer to get their beauty routine on the right track. But there are still those out there who don’t know the benefits of a chemical exfoliator like an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). Physical exfoliators like a facial brush or those harmful microbeads slough off dead skin while potentially scratching the surface. AHAs help to gently peel away dead cells to unveil a new, glowing layer, while also moisturizing by signaling skin cells to increase their hyaluronic acid deposition, hydrating the skin from the inside out.
Water-soluble organic acids derived from fruit or other kinds of food, glycolic, lactic and citrus are among the most popular types of AHAs. But new research has suggested that lactic acid is the superior AHA choice as it’s the human body’s natural cell-signaling moisturizing agent. Lactic acid comes from lactose found in milk, and it’s one of the gentler acids while being the most moisturizing, making it the premier choice for those with sensitive or aging skin.
Cell renewal slows down as we age, leaving behind dull, coarse skin that makes us look older. Lactic acid helps speed up the cell growth process while increasing hyaluronic acid, making skin appear thicker and plumper with natural hydration. This, in turn, helps fill fine lines and wrinkles. Exfoliation helps with hyper pigmentation as lactic acid dissolves bonds that hold dead skin cells together, allowing them to break down in order to restore a more youthful glow to the skin.
The scientists behind Priori found in their studies that increasing the pH level of lactic acid has a huge effect on skin sensitivity and irritation. If AHA products are formulated at pH 3.5 or greater they produce very little skin irritation, so by raising pH levels to a minimum of 3.8 in our products, we are able to deliver higher concentrations of AHA for the most dramatic benefits. Our LCA complex line provides a buffered concentration of lactic acid, mixed with vitamins A, C, E, and Pro A (we call this mix the Multi-Functional Antioxidant Sequence, or MFAS). The combination of the lactic acid with the MFAS leads to normalized skin function, with emphasis on hydration and increased cell turnover speed. This mix is also time released and additionally protects against oxidative stress caused by free radicals, making it a truly adapting complex.
I know this all may be just a bit intimidating, but remember this: the best way to incorporate an AHA like lactic acid into your skincare routine is to start with small concentrations and work your way up. A great starting product is our LCA fx140 Barrier Restore Complex, with only a 2% concentration that is safe to use as a moisturizer everyday.
Pro Tip: Especially as we are approaching the hottest months, be sure to wear sunscreen after using any product with lactic acid as it makes skin more vulnerable to sun damage. While AHA repairs damage from the UV rays, you risk cancelling out the benefits by causing more damage when skin goes unprotected.