One of the gentlest chemical peels is a lactic acid peel. Unlike a glycolic acid peel or a salicylic acid peel, a lactic acid peel is extra gentle and good for even the most sensitive skin.
Lactic acid is derived from sour milk. It’s an alpha hydroxy acid like glycolic acid, but is much gentler and helps the skin maintain its ideal PH factor.
Lactic acid peels help to remove germs, dead cells and toxins from the skin. People who have them done often report that their skin feels much smoother and looks more toned than before.
Lactic acid peels are best for people who have very sensitive skin that might not be able to tolerate the slightly more intense glycolic acid peels. Although lactic acid peels are gentler, they usually provide many of the same benefits as the other peels, but in a less intense version.
Lactic acid peels
A lactic acid peel can be performed at home with a store-bought peel, or can be performed in a doctor or aesthetician’s office. They come in a variety of intensities. The most intense – 50% — is good for mature skin and helps to reduce the look of wrinkles.
The lactic acid peel that contains a 40% concentration is good for normal skin that needs a little toning or skin that’s dry or dehydrated. This is the ideal concentration for bringing back some moisture to the skin.
A 30% peel is perfect for very sensitive skin, skin that’s prone to acne and skin that’s very oily. Many times people who have never had a lactic acid peel will choose the 30% concentration because it is a great “starter” peel. Once they know their skin can handle it, they can move onto a peel that contains a bit higher concentration. This concentration, however, still provides numerous benefits to the skin.
Benefits and precautions
As with other chemical peels, the lactic acid peel can provide a significant benefit to your skin. You can reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles and help to improve acne or oily skin. Even dry skin can benefit from a lactic acid peel, as it can restore PH and help the skin drink in moisture you provide (in the form of good-quality moisturizers).
This is often called a “starter peel” because the lactic acid peel is the most gentle of all the chemical peels and usually results in few if any side effects. Once people have successfully had lactic acid peels with no trouble, they sometimes move onto peels that are little more intense, such as a glycolic acid peel.
Lactic acid peels demand the same precautions as other peels. Be sure to use a good sunscreen for a few weeks after the peel. Your skin will be much more sensitive to the sun after a lactic acid peel. As well, if you have any itchiness or redness, be sure to report that back to your doctor or aesthetician, although most people report no side effects like that with this most gentle of all the peels.