Glycolic acid and lactic acid are both alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) that are used in skincare products for their exfoliating properties. They work by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, which can help to smooth the skin’s texture, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve overall skin tone.
Both glycolic acid and lactic acid can be effective exfoliants, but they have some key differences that may make one more appropriate for certain skin types or concerns.
Glycolic acid has a smaller molecular size than lactic acid, which means it can penetrate more deeply into the skin. This makes it a good choice for treating sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of aging. However, because it can be more potent than lactic acid, it may not be appropriate for those with sensitive skin.
Lactic acid has a larger molecular size than glycolic acid, which means it doesn’t penetrate the skin as deeply. This makes it a good choice for those with sensitive skin or those who are new to using AHAs. Lactic acid is also a humectant, which means it can help to hydrate the skin and improve its overall texture.
When it comes to choosing between glycolic acid and lactic acid, it’s important to consider your skin type and concerns. If you have sensitive skin or are new to using AHAs, lactic acid may be a better choice. If you’re looking to treat sun damage, hyperpigmentation, or signs of aging, glycolic acid may be more appropriate.
It’s important to note that both glycolic acid and lactic acid can be harsh on the skin if used incorrectly or in high concentrations. It’s best to start with a lower concentration and gradually increase as your skin tolerates it. Additionally, it’s important to use these acids in conjunction with other gentle, hydrating products to avoid further irritation or dryness.
In summary, both glycolic acid and lactic acid can be effective exfoliants, but they have different properties that may make one more appropriate for certain skin types or concerns. Consult with a dermatologist if you have specific skin concerns or are unsure which acid is right for you.