Don’t Go To Bed Without Putting This One Thing On Your Face, Beauty Pros Say

This ingredient is super hydrating and can help you wake up glowing.

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What if there were a magical product you could put on before you went to bed in order to wake up looking fresh, glowy and a little bit younger? Sounds like a dream, but a top Hollywood “skincare master” says this ingredient does, in fact, exist. Even better, it’s already available in many skincare products and it’s gentle enough for almost everyone to use.

There is no shortage of unusual ingredients that can help your skin, from snail mucin to cinnamon. Even pumpkin can help your skin look its best. Everyone, and every skin type, is different, but no matter what type of skin you have, there is one thing that almost universally helps everyone who uses it at night.

If you use nothing else on your face at night, use lactic acid, experts say. Lactic acid’s properties were used thousands of years ago, but knowledge of its power was largely lost to the ages. Beauty experts, however, never lost sight of lactic acid’s many benefits. Today, everyone who wants better skin can benefit from lactic acid. And you can do it with an easy-to-use, over-the-counter product.

What is Lactic Acid?

Lactic acid comes from fermented lactose, an ingredient found in milk. It’s part of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family, including glycolic acid and other acids used in skincare products.

However, lactic acid has an advantage over other AHAs since it hydrates as well as exfoliates.

Using lactic acid for skincare is hardly new. Its use dates back to ancient Egypt. Cleopatra reportedly bathed in sour donkey milk, which contains a high percentage of lactic acid.

Why Use Lactic Acid?

Olga Lorencin has made celebrities like Halle Berry, Viola Davis, Zoe Saldana and Kate Hudson look their best for over 20 years. She is known as the “Acid Queen,” for her masterful ability to change skin texture, revive dull and congested skin and help achieve clear and glowing skin. She also formulated the world’s first-ever, game-changing Lactic Acid Serum years ago.

According to Lorencin, who owns Olga Lorencin Skincare, “Applying Lactic Acid Hydrating Serum before bed is a game changer for 90% of my clients.”

Because lactic acid is one of the mildest and most effective acids on the market, almost everyone can use it without irritation. “It provides gentle exfoliation and continuous hydration throughout the night. These are two pivotal steps in any stellar skincare routine,” says Loerncin.

Because of the work lactic acid does while you are asleep, you will wake up fresh-faced, with brighter, clearer skin. Of course, if you want to channel Cleopatra, you can get your nightly dose of lactic acid by taking a milk bath before bed!

What do Dermatologists Think About Lactic Acid?

Dr. Loretta Ciraldo MD FAAD, a Miami-based board-certified dermatologist with over 40 years of experience and founder of Dr. Loretta skincare uses AHAs to treat patients in her practice. According to Dr. Ciraldo, AHAs “have had decades of clinical use in dermatology practices and are very effective exfoliating agents. In addition, AHA can increase collagen and [hyaluronic acid] production in skin.”

Many dermatologists use skin peels with high concentrations of AHAs in their offices, but in lower concentrations, lactic acid and other AHAs are safe for home use. Dr. Loretta Micro Peel Peptide Pads contain AHAs in addition to hydrating marine peptides to replenish moisture that is lost when you shed the surface layer of skin cells. They are great products to use right before bed. 

Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a board-certified dermatologist, also recommends using lactic acid at night. “Our skin renewal peaks overnight, so applying lactic acid at bedtime will dance the renewal process. It also allows other skincare products in our night routine to penetrate more effectively.”

“Lactic acid is also hydrating and because our skin is prone to water loss overnight, applying it at bedtime works best,” he says. Dr. Shirazi recommends Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum from Biossance and Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% Exfoliating Serum by The Ordinary.

A Word of Caution Before Using

Although lactic acid is incredibly effective, its exfoliating powers mean it may increase sensitivity to the sun. That means it’s important to use good sunscreen while using lactic acid–yes, all year round.

Protecting your skin is an important component of great skincare. And when you combine protection during the day and hydration at night, you’ll wake up with that enviable glow.

Jamie Davis Smith
Jamie is a mother of four, writer and attorney. Read more
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