Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that is mild and hence suitable for sensitive skin. Lactic acid peels serve many purposes which include regulating the pH of the skin, removing impurities from the skin, cleansing the pores, removing dead cells, etc. If you have heard of glycolic acid peels, then you must know that it is similar to a lactic acid peel as both are alpha hydroxy acids. The only difference is that glycolic acid is stronger as compared to lactic acid, and hence cannot be used by people who have very sensitive skin.
How to Perform a Lactic Acid Peel?
A peel is nothing but a cream or gel like substance that is applied to your skin and after a stipulated interval of time, is peeled off. Lactic acid peels come in varying intensities, ranging from 10% to 50%. If you are a first timer, it is recommended that you go for 10% or 20% concentration and not more. This is because this concentration is the least intense and it would be easier for your skin to get used to it. Also, for people with extra sensitive skin, it is best advised that you choose a peel of low lactic acid concentration. Another point to note is that while a peel of low intensity is suitable for oily skin, dry skin can easily handle a peel of 40% intensity.
If you are wondering where and how you can get a lactic acid peel done, then you'd be glad to know that you can even get it done at home if you do not wish to visit a skin clinic. To do a peel at home, first wash your face and wipe it with a dry towel. Now apply the peel on your entire face, excluding the lips and eyes. Now, wait for 5-7 minutes and then rinse your face with lukewarm water. Once you have washed your face, apply a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
Benefits of a lactic acid peel on your skin can be many. Some of them are given below.
- The exfoliating properties of lactic acid peel works like magic on your skin, causing your skin to generate new cells faster. This causes the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, crow's feet, fine lines and dark patches, to disappear, and makes you look youthful and attractive!
- It is beneficial for curing acne and pimples from the face.
- As it removes the dead cells from the skin and cleanses the pores, it also improves the ability of the skin to absorb and retain moisture. This is because, over time, deposition of oil, dust particles and other impurities on the skin can result in clogging of pores, which reduces the ability of the skin to absorb. It helps the skin retain moisture by restoring the pH value of the skin.
- As we grow older, our skin grows old too and this is evident in the rough texture of the skin. To "bring back" the skin you once had, you can try a lactic acid peel. It exfoliates the skin and helps it regain its smooth and flawless texture!
- A peel with intensity as low as 10% can be used to remove tanning or spots on the face caused by excessive melanin production in the skin.
- It is used to treat rosacea, a skin condition.
- They are the most gentle of all chemical peels, and yet has significant benefits with little or no side effects.
Like any other chemical peel, a lactic acid peel too removes the dead cells from the skin and leaves the skin more sensitive to the harmful rays of the sun. So, you should use a sunscreen every time you step out of the house, at least for a few weeks after you have used the peel on your face. Also, it is recommended that you perform a skin test before going ahead with the treatment.
The method of doing this is to take a very small amount of the peel and apply it on a small region in any part of your body except the face. Wait for a few minutes and then peel off. If you experience any redness, itchiness or burning sensation, don't go ahead with the treatment. If your skin is not adverse to the peel, you can very slowly increase the intensity by increasing the concentration of acid in the peel. Remember not to "jump" to a peel of the strongest intensity in the hope of acquiring better benefits.
It is important that you take proper care of your skin once you have used a lactic acid peel. While the cost of treatment varies with the intensity of peel, the average cost of the peels is around $50. So, if you want a fresh and rejuvenated skin, you can safely go for a lactic acid peel.