is lactic acid or glycolic acid better for hyperpigmentation

Read more in our Affiliate Disclosure. Topical therapy is mainstay of treatment which includes chemical peels and other depigmenting agents. Using a high concentration of a powerful acid like glycolic acid without preparing your skin or building up tolerance can lead to a damaged moisture barrier, severe skin peeling, redness, burning, and irritation. Lactic acid not only has the ability to help clear keratosis pilaris but to provide the skin with more hydration. Always start off slowly and build up to a higher concentration to see how your skin reacts. Both lactic acid and glycolic acid are alpha hydroxy acids. Yet one other addition to the weird (but efficient) skincare ingredient canon, lactic acid—a pure exfoliating acid present in rotten milk—is definitely a light Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that improves texture, nixes hyperpigmentation and scars, and soften the looks of effective strains. Depending on your skin, you may find that a less potent acid used more frequently works better for you. Please note an important distinction here. That means it can penetrate deeper into your skin and work faster. In conclusion, both glycolic acid and lactic acid can offer similarly excellent results in lightening skin discoloration like tans or scars, improve skin texture and complexion, and reduce and prevent acne. As with glycolic acid… According to Nowell Solish, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist and consulting dermatologist for Indeed Labs, they do this by weakening the binding properties of the particles that hold the outer skin cells together. “It is also referred to as a ‘fruit peel,’ because the acid can be found in certain foods and fruits, such as tomatoes, pineapples,” says Julie Russak, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Russak Dermatology Clinic. “Lactic acid and glycolic acid are also helpful to exfoliate the dark discoloration. Lactic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid(AHA) while Salicylic acid is a type of beta-hydroxy acid(BHA). Both glycolic acid and lactic acid can help reverse skin darkening that are superficial like sun tans or with tinted tanning lotions by removing top layers of skin to reveal new skin that is your natural and original skin color. Lactic acid is an AHA, or an alpha hydroxy acid. Now when you apply a moisturizer, you’re able to apply it directly onto skin’s surface on new skin cells. Mandelic acid … Furthermore, its use can be reasonably hypothesized as a maintenance treatment after specific pharmacological treatment even in more severe acne types.” [source: Baldo A, Bezzola P, Curatolo S, Florio T, Lo Guzzo G, Lo Presti M, Sala GP, Serra F, Tonin E, Pellicano M, Pimpinelli N. (2010) G Ital Dermatol Venereol.]. This is especially true of glycolic and lactic acids, two of the most popular alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) whose main function is to exfoliate skin and leave behind a beautiful glow. The study measured pore area and number, counted comedones, and measured sebum production in a test and control group and found: “4% AHA solution combined with a physical effect had rapidly improving effects on whiteheads and blackheads synergistically. People with sensitive skin will find lactic acid to be the gentler acid between two. Skin texture improves quickly within days or weeks in characteristic AHA therapeutic fashion. Learn more here. But they do the same thing as different concentrations and at a different time frame. In one study done on albino mice, glycolic acid successfully repaired sun damage. Use this link to access our yearly scholarship for health and nutrition students. Lactic acid or glycolic acid – A comparison. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Choose a lactic acid skin care product with at least 10% lactic acid for visible results. Lactic acid as a solution is also used as a food additive as preservative or for flavor. “Lactic acid is not only more gentle but more humectant, making it ideal for hydrating dry skin,” says Jeffrey Fromowitz, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Boca Raton. AHAs help reverse visible and invisible damage done by the sun’s ultraviolet rays and if you don’t use an sunscreen daily alongside AHA use, you risk canceling the positive effects of the AHA and experiencing further damage on top of it. If you want to smooth lines and wrinkles…. However, certain products may combine the two to make a combination peel or solution. Since acids can be drying, those with oily skin should look for a higher concentration, while those with sensitive skin should try to stay on the lower range. Lactic acid and salicylic acid can be used together in your skincare routine. Alpha hydroxy acids like lactic acid and glycolic acid help hydrate your skin in 2 different ways. Looking for our scholarship? It is naturally occuring in sugarcane and pineapples but many of the forms found in skincare products is created from scratch to make it a more stable ingredient with a longer shelf life. By continuing to use our site, you accept the use of cookies. Technically you can. Use a product that has soothing ingredients like aloe vera and lavender. The study paid attention to whether there was improvement in wrinkles and an increase in collagen production. Boosting collagen helps your skin stay firm longer, and over time, decreases wrinkles and thickens the skin. Still unsure which to choose? Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid or AHA. When properly formulated (meaning in a product whose pH is between 3 and 4 for optimal effectiveness), glycolic acid … TCA peels are done with a solution of trichloroacetic acid, which is made by dissolving a certain amount of trichloroacetic acid in enough water to make 100 cc of the solution. Both ingredients promise to reduce your wrinkles, acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and other visible … It is best suited to treating surface hyperpigmentation because it doesn’t penetrate deep into the skin. However, just because it is stronger doesn’t always make it the better way to repair scars, fine lines, skin texture and complexion. Mild Hyperpigmentation – AHAs are ideal when treating mild cases of hyperpigmentation that come as a result of age spots, melasma, and moderate acne scars. While some types of skin issues respond better to glycolic acid, other skin types will see more benefit from using salicylic acid. Theyre the miracle tools used to fight acne, wrinkles, age spots, scarring, and uneven skin tone. It’s like a two-in-one for your skin. Neither of these alpha hydroxy acids will lighten your skin more than your natural skin, only lightens tanned or discolored skin back to your original skin. If you have hyperpigmentation… Glycolic acid can also disturb the production of melanin within the basal layer of the skin, making it a good option for those looking to combat hyperpigmentation… Both lactic and glycolic acid can help improve hyperpigmentation from photodamage (sun damage) or … This was a non randomized open study but it specifically looked at the effects of AHA on patients who had gone to a dermatologist for their acne issues and were prescribed an AHA cream either by itself or alongside another treatment. The skin on your body is harder and thicker than it is on your face, so getting moisture into the skin can be more difficult. As an AHA, Lactic acid benefits include exfoliation of top skin layers for better skin complexion and texture, decreasing skin scars and spots, and reducing fine lines. What is the difference? Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment, $85.00. Lactic acid is one of the most common type of AHA and is available in a wide range of concentrations, making it a great beginner and advanced alpha hydroxy acid. Amongst the types of alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid has the smallest molecule size. Use this link to access our yearly scholarship for health and nutrition students. So you must wear sunscreen while using an AHA like lactic acid. Like lactic acid, you must wear sunscreen everyday if you want to use an alpha hydroxy acid like glycolic acid. Love glycolic acid discussions! A notable difference between glycolic acid and mandelic acid products is the lack of skin irritation. Lactic Acid is generally less irritating, so if you sunburn easily, or have been known to breakout with new perfumes or soaps, Lactic acid … “In general, acids with a weaker percentage and more neutral pH can be used daily, while products with a higher acid percentage and lower pH should be limited to two or three times a week,” explains Dr. Russak. Glycolic acid offers the same benefits as lactic acid but at a greater strength than lactic acid. Glycolic acid toners are a beneficial step in your routine if you are seeking to treat skin issues such as acne, scarring and hyperpigmentation. These are the most common questions we have in our Sunday Riley Facebook Group. A series of in-office or home chemical peels containing glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, retinol, trichloracetic acid, and/or hydroquinone can improve sun-induced hyperpigmentation. In one study conducted on Indian patients with melasma, glycolic acid showed promising results. Glycolic acid has been shown to be particularly effective in reducing melasma, a common effect of too much sun exposure. Fine wrinkles and lines appear to improve, much like photoaged skin does with the use of 10% glycolic acid preparations. This is a common question from people looking to choose one or the other for their skin issue: Lactic acid or glycolic acid – which one is better? Glycolic acid can be found in concentrations from 2% to 50% and more. Before all that, you have to know where to start. (2012) Journal of the German Science of Dermatology.]. But with so many acids on the market, it can seem overwhelming to remember which to use and for what and which products to buy. Since lactic acid molecules do not end up penetrating as deeply as glycolic, they also tend to be less irritating to the skin surface, explains Dr. Russak. 9 Salicylic–mandelic acid … So please use sunscreen daily! Lactic Acid is also an AHA but is more gentle and hydrating to the skin than Glycolic acid … (2015) Int J Cosmet Sci.]. This means that it is able penetrate deeper than other AHAs like lactic acid or mandelic acid, and so is the strongest of the alpha hydroxy acids. “Glycolic acid has the ability to activate and increase fibroblast cells that help produce collagen,” explains Dr. Russak. In fact, this method can help you manage some less than savory side effects that come with using a high concentration acid like severe peeling or skin shedding. In fact, using a lower concentration glycolic acid product more frequently over time will give you better results than a one time drastic use of a high percentage glycolic acid produce. All alpha hydroxy acids increase your sun sensitivity for up to 7 days after use. It’s also known for its significant exfoliation and anti-aging effects. Check if the product contains any ingredient that you are allergic to. Start with a low percentage like 5%, follow the directions to use sparingly every few weeks until your skin is used to acid exfoliation before trying a stronger lactic acid product. On the other hand, you may be an acid veteran and be looking for the next potent option, or you may have noticed that your skin is resilient and is able to tolerate exfoliation well. Lactic acid, on the other hand, is derived from milk (while experts say those with dairy restrictions should be okay, you might want to consult your derm just to be safe). This article will compare lactic acid with glycolic acid, but if you want to learn more about AHAs or other types of AHAs, read our guide to AHAs. If you experience extreme itching or pain, however, you should stop using the product and contact your derm — he or she will help you find the right adjustment. “Glycolic acid tends to be more mild than a retinol, and is ideal if your concerns are more focused on dull or tired looking skin,” says Dr. The combination of glycolic acid peeling with the topical regimen is a highly effective, safe and promising therapeutic option in treatment of melasma.” [source: Chaudhary S, Dayal S. (2013) J Drugs Dermatol.]. The results showed that: “The appearance of age-related hand pigmentation characteristics were significantly improved at 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. Chemical or Physical exfoliant – Which one is better for my skin? Alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid has also been shown to reduce fine lines and surface wrinkles by increasing collagen production in your skin. Is it OK to use them together? As we’ve mentioned, neither is a categorically better choice and each has its benefits. is a participant of is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs, and we get a small commission on purchases made through our links. To learn more about hydroxy acids, check out our introduction to AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) or our complete guide to BHAs (beta hydroxy acids). Lactic acid can be found in concentrations as low as 1% to 50% or more but we do not recommend getting a double digit concentration if you’ve never used an alpha hydroxy acid before. Any skincare routine takes repeated use overtime to reach its full potential (they don’t call it a routine for nothin’), but if you are looking for immediate and more dramatic results, glycolic acid is your best bet. “This leaves you with smoother skin that’s more even in texture and color and paving the way for other products used to penetrate deeper,” he says. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. Glycolic acid peel. The mice were exposed to the sun’s UVB (a type of ultraviolet light) for 10 weeks and then a 15% glycolic acid was applied to their skin for the subsequent 10 weeks. Using glycolic acid for hyperpigmentation due to sun damage or acne will give you a glowing and even skin tone as it … So you should use glycolic acid carefully. We only recommend products we have independently researched, tested, and loved. Glycolic acid is best for hyperpigmentation problems. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. However, higher risk for erythema was observed in the trichloroacetic acid peel groups compared with the glycolic acid peel groups (risk ratio, -0.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.30 to -0.071; P =.002).Risk for hyperpigmentation was similar for trichloroacetic acid peel and glycolic acid … … Since lactic acid works in the same fundamental ways as glycolic acid, lactic acid can show similar results for melasma. Because glycolic acid penetrates more deeply, it can be especially beneficial for oily or acne-prone skin. In fact, you can literally give yourself 1st degree burns if you try to use a high % glycolic acid right off the bat. When using either acid, year-round sun protection is an absolute must, as studies have shown that sun sensitivity can last up to two weeks after you have stopped using an acid or have had a peel treatment. Using a low concentration acid, either lactic or glycolic acid, over the course of 6-8 weeks can give you incredible results comparable to a high concentration solution of just glycolic acid. The patients were treated twice daily with an alpha hydroxy acid cream for a period of 8 weeks. We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience on our site. (1999) Dermatol Surg. Glycolic acid (GA) peel, an AHA, has been widely used for pigmentary dyschromias and acne, 3-8 but few studies have evaluated GA peels in dark skins, including Asian patients. Glycolic acid can also disturb the production of melanin within the basal layer of the skin, making it a good option for those looking to combat hyperpigmentation. While their primary objective is to exfoliate the skin, they each boast separate benefits. A lot has to do with your skin and its sensitivity. And, as with any new product, do not forget to patch test. Dr. Wexler explains that it’s a milder version of glycolic that’s great for smoothing the skin, whether it be on your legs or your face. Unlike other AHAs made from fruits, lactic acid is made from lactose in milk. Glycolic Acid How it works: “Glycolic acid is the most researched of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). “This makes the peel a milder and gentler option suitable for all skin types, but especially good for more sensitive types,” she says, adding that lactic acid has demonstrated having a more favorable side effect profile and faster recovery time. So both glycolic acid and lactic acid have been shown to effectively treat current and prevent new acne. Another Frequently Asked … oon SE1, Park SB, Ahn HT, Youn JI. For Hyperpigmentation Lactic acid vs glycolic acid for hyperpigmentation. Alpha hydroxy acids are hydrophilic, meaning they attract and bind water to your skin’s surface, improving hydration and skin texture. The results: “The results of this study, while confirming the high tolerability and efficacy of this AHA cream in the treatment of mild/moderate acne, reasonably suggest its possible use also in monotherapy. The next section will take a look at the various benefits of lactic acid, glycolic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids in general and draw from scientific research to compare the two acids. They are both alpha hydroxy acids which work to remove top layers of skin and dead skin cells, a process that also unclogs pores. Another study looked at the effect of AHAs on skin pore and comedone. Depending on your skin and the severity of the problem you are targeting, you may get great results from a combination because it is able to target the issue at two different penetrative depths. Glycolic acid and retinol are the two main components found in many anti-aging skincare products. So both glycolic acid and lactic acid are effective in reducing and preventing acne by exfoliating to open comedones and remove blackheads and whiteheads. All AHAs, including lactic acid, make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage. Use a gentle exfoliator with lactic acid, glycolic acid… Higher concentrations will deliver more acid to the skin but come with the price of being more irritation and sun-sensitizing. And second, “an important epidermal effect is the increase of the water holding capacity due to AHA application along with an increase of skin hydration and skin turgor.” [source: Philipp Babilas, Ulrich Knie, Christoph Abels. So if you’re looking to lighten your skin to a shade that is lighter than your natural tone, then you may not have much success with alpha hydroxy acids. Our body also creates it when it converts food into energy. Glycolic acid is considered to be the stronger of the two, but stronger doesn’t always equal better. Acne Bacteria is a known trigger for acne … Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid both work well to fade excess pigment in skin, and will slowly fade dark spots and even out skin tone if you have patchy skin, scars, freckles, sun spots, or melasma. It is milder than other AHA peels and is safe to use, risking minimal side effects. Overall side-effect profiles were comparable in chemical peel agents. Jessner's solution is made with 14 g of resorcinol, 14 g of salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid) and 14 g of lactic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid… Aims: To compare clinical efficacy, safety, and tolerability of 20% glycolic acid peels, 15% lactic acid peels, and 12% ferulic acid … Other AHAs include glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and malic acid. Best value/quality I have found is Alpha Hydrox 10% in a 6oz bottle … While the percentage of acid is important when determining the right product, the number of free acids in a product determines its pH (and its potency), with the ideal pH level between 3.5 and 4 for at-home use. So build up tolerance slowly and use a lower concentration glycolic acid to protect your skin. When an acid is working, you should feel a slight tingling on your skin, perhaps paired with some temporary redness afterward. Glycolic acid is your friend, in this case. Gross. Using lactic acid at a 5% or 10% concentration every few weeks will help you get the results you want in time without irritating your skin to the point of no return. "It is one of the mildest peels, and is great for acne, hyperpigmentation, … source: Gold MH, Gallagher C. (2013) J Drugs Dermatol. Subjects reported post-treatment improvements in other characteristics associated with healthy skin. Both lactic acid and glycolic acid can be used at different concentrations to effectively target a host of skincare issues, from improving acne or skin texture, reducing fine lines and discoloration, and reversing sun damage and aging symptoms. In one study conducted on 248 Italian patients with mild to moderate acne, the patients were treated with alpha hydroxy acid twice a day for 60 days. [source: Gold MH, Gallagher C. (2013) J Drugs Dermatol]. Which is better? A glycolic acid peel is an AHA peel that can treat dark spots. If you are an acid virgin, lactic is generally considered a great starter acid thanks to its gentle properties and quick results. It was a very simple, nice formula. Your skin is extra sensitive to sun damage for up to 7 days after you use an AHA. (2012) Journal of the German Science of Dermatology. It would be better to find which ones works better for your skin type and sensitivity and use that over the course of a few months and then reevaluate if you need a higher strength product or maybe a different one. A 4% AHA chemical peel that was part water, part glycolic acid and part lactic acid was used to treat a group of healthy women. Lactic acid and salicylic acid … If you don’t use sunscreen, you risk damaging your skin further instead of repairing it. If you can’t find the exact pH level listed on the product, look for other descriptors (such as “mild”) on the box to assess overall strength. Welcome to Being Healthfull, your online source for holistic nutrition with equal focus on traditional and alternative methods, healthy hair and skin tips, natural remedies and recipes, and DIY beauty products for the conscientious consumer. If you are nervous, try using it in a face or body wash once or twice a week so it does not sit on your skin for a long period of time and you can see how your skin reacts to it. Though glycolic and lactic acids come from the same chemical compound group – the smallest alpha-hydroxyl acid, glycolic acid (also known as hydroxyacetic acid) is derived from sugarcane. Olay Regenerist Night Elixir just went off the market (boo!). Glycolic acid has the smallest molecular size among all the alpha-hydroxy acids. To compare clinical efficacy, safety, and tolerability of 20% glycolic acid peels, 15% lactic acid peels, and 12% ferulic acid peels in the treatment of constitutional type of periorbital hyperpigmentation in … You can use it in a lower concentration when you’re starting out in your acid exfoliation journey as well as in stronger concentrations once your skin has become accustomed to chemical exfoliation. If you use glycolic or lactic acid, try to start with a formula that has pH closer to 4 not to irritate the top protective layer of the skin and 5% concentration of acid for daily use. Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (or AHA) that's derived from sugar cane. Forty Indian patients with moderate to severe melasma were treated over a period of time with glycolic acid peels against a control group. In this video, we discuss what's Best for the Skin, when it comes to dealing with Acne & Hyperpigmentation. Both lactic and glycolic acid can help improve hyperpigmentation from photodamage (sun damage) or acne scars because they help speed up skin cell turnover and reveal new skin underneath. Given that it is a highly penetrative acid, we highly recommend starting with a low concentration like 5% so that your skin can become accustomed to alpha hydroxy acid before moving onto a high concentration that your skin may not tolerate. Sensitive skin types or those dealing with a damaged moisture barrier and experiencing the highly irritated skin that is a result, might do better with lactic acid. Lactic acid can also help you to achieve this skin goal. Combined physical therapy may have more impact on pore size and seborrhoea.” The study showed that whiteheads, blackheads, sebum, and pore sized all decrease at a faster rate for the test group than the control group.” [source: Kim SJ, Baek JH, Koh JS, Bae MI, Lee SJ, Shin MK.

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