If you’re wondering why Sunday Riley’s Good Genes is a bestseller, it’s because it makes skin glow. And if you’re wondering how and why it makes skin glow, the answer lies in one particular ingredient: lactic acid. While you might’ve heard of popular acids such as glycolic acid, lactic acid is making its way into beauty aficionados’ medicine cabinets as a skin treatment for regular use.
Reasons To Use Lactic Acid
As part of the alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), it performs the essential function of gently exfoliating your skin. Unlike glycolic acid, it’s gentler and acts as a humectant at lower concentrations, drawing water molecules to the outer layer of the skin and moisturizing while exfoliating. This is fantastic news if you have fine lines or dry skin!
In addition to its moisturizing properties, it’s gentler on sensitive skin. It increases ceramides in the skin, which acts as a protective barrier. Great news for those of us who can’t tolerate higher concentration acids in our skincare routine! If you’re lactose intolerant, however, you should test your sensitivity since, as the name implies, the acid derives from milk.
Just because it’s fit for sensitive skin doesn’t mean it should be mixed into your current routine haphazardly, however. When adding a product with lactic acid, make sure you’re not combining it with other irritating ingredients like vitamin C, BHAs, and retinoids. You want to stick to one active ingredient per routine, though you may alternate different active ingredients on different days. Combining multiple active ingredients increases chances of irritation and other adverse effects like redness and flaking. You’ll also want to stick to using stronger ingredients like these in your evening ritual rather than in the morning. The sun can cause extra irritation on an already sensitive face when used in the morning.
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Product image via Sephora