Lactic acid lotions are very useful for different skin types. They can benefit aging, dry, oily, and acne prone skin. Lactic acid lotion side effects are rare and typically mild. Most people don’t experience any complications and those who do aren’t likely to have any lasting skin damage.
If you are currently experiencing negative lactic acid side effects, there are things you can do to help. You are probably experiencing mild complications from over exfoliation. These include redness, mild inflammation, itchy skin, and perhaps peeling. Stop using all forms of exfoliation including loofahs, scrubs, and products containing hydroxy acids. Don’t use any strong acne treatments or anti aging products. If you have peeling or scabbed skin, let it slough off naturally; don’t pick at it! You should moisturize your skin with a natural product containing soothing botanical ingredients like aloe, oat, or chamomile. You also need to use sun protection if you are going to be outside at all, even if it is cloudy.
Lactic acid is a strong ingredient that can remove the first few layers of skin. Lotions and creams are typically mild formulations that don’t cause a strong peeling effect, which is most likely to cause irritation. If too much tissue is removed, the new skin exposed can be very tender. You aren’t likely to experience an extreme adverse reaction from mild products like you can with chemical peels. Most people only have to deal with temporary irritation like inflammation, redness, itchiness, and flaking skin.
Lactic acid lotion side effects aren’t usually serious because these products typically contain low concentrations of lactic acid. Most users can avoid complications by adding lactic acid products into their routine gradually. A lactic acid lotion will typically only have between 5% and 10% lactic acid. Stronger formulations containing more than 10% are too intense for new users. Start with a 5% to 10% lactic acid cream or lotion. Most people can start using that concentration daily, but it may be better to apply it every other day in the beginning, especially if you have sensitive skin. Once your skin tolerates a mild product well for a few weeks, you can try using a strong lactic acid lotion, or a mild lactic acid peel or serum.
Some people experience irritation a few days after applying lactic acid even though there were no initial problems. Alpha hydroxy acid products like a lactic or glycolic acid lotion cause your skin to be sensitive to sun exposure. You are much more likely to develop a sunburn for a week or more following each time you use the product. You should only use products containing alpha hydroxy acids in the evening. If the acid is still on your skin, the sun reaction effects are intensified. Many people stop using lactic and glycolic acid during the summer.
You can experience lactic acid lotion side effects by using the strong products too frequently without giving your skin time to recuperate. If you are trying to reduce fine lines and discoloration, exfoliation is only half of the process. Your skin needs time off to heal, and you should also use rejuvenating skin care product that contains actives that enhance collagen production, like Vitamin C or retinol. People also run into problems by using too many exfoliating treatments. Be careful using a lactic acid lotion during the week following a chemical peel or microdermabrasion treatment.