Meet Lactobionic Acid: AHA's Gentler Sister Exfoliator

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are key ingredients in our never-ending search for healthy-looking skin. But sometimes, they can be a little too harsh to use, especially if you're prone to irritation. If you're looking to get the same benefits but wanting something that's a whole lot gentler on your skin, we think we've found the answer. Say hello to lactobionic acid.

"Lactobionic acid is the oxidized form of lactose, which is derived from milk," says plastic surgeon Melissa Doft, MD. "As lactobionic is a larger molecule than glycolic acid, it will not penetrate the skin as well and thus is considered less strong and less irritating."

According to the Omorovicza team, because lactobionic acids don't penetrate the skin as well, they only provide exfoliation on the surface. "This makes them perfect for those with sensitive skin who are prone to irritation sometimes caused by AHAs," they say. We asked both Doft and the Omorovicza team to break down the acid down for us, from the exact benefits we'd be getting to how to incorporate it into our skincare routine. Scroll down to see what they had to say.