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.
According to both Doft and the Omorovizca team, these are all the skin benefits of a lactobionic acid:
1. Brighter and more even skin tone for all skin types.
2. Increased cellular turnover rate to prevent buildup.
4. Reduced appearance of fine lines.
5. Increased elastin and collagen.
6. Protection against further sun damage.
7. Reduced appearance of scars and hyperpigmentation.
Because it is an exfoliator, Doft and the Omorovizca team say you can easily find products to incorporate it into any skincare routine.
How To Use It
According to the Omorovizca team, you can find lactobionic acids in treatment products such as scrubs, serums, peels, and masks. The only precaution you should take is if you have sensitive skin.
"Like all acids, lactobionic can be irritating to the skin. If you have dry or sensitive skin, some formulations may be too strong," says Doft. She suggests using it three times a week at the minimum as a test to see how well (or poorly) your skin can tolerate it.
As for mixing exfoliators, Doft advises against it. "I would be careful using too many exfoliates at once," she says. "For example, I would not use a glycolic acid wash and a lactobionic wash during the same day. Also, you may want to be careful using a mechanical exfoliator like a Clarisonic brush in conjunction with a lactobionic acid polish."
Now that you have everything you need to know about this gentle acid, scroll down to see what Doft, the Omorovicza team, and team Byrdie reccommend.
Made with lava stone extract, this polisher cleanses, purifies, and refines dull skin to give you smoothness and brightness.
This serum combines Mandelic and lactobionic acids to speed up cellular turnover rates and reduce the appearance of fine lines and hyperpigmentation. It also contains marine botanicals that calm and soothe any irritation, which is ideal for sensitive skin.
Lactobionic acids are very common in Korean skincare. We love this toner bc it gently exfoliates while also keeping our skin hydrated. The lactobionic acid is so gentle in removing dead skin cells on the surface that we can use it everyday.
It gives you a brighter complexion and firms up your skin while also exfoliating away dead particles without irritating it.