7 Things You Need To Know About The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid Serums

Known for its no-nonsense approach to beauty and affordable products, The Ordinary took the beauty world by storm when it launched back in 2016 and has since brought us some of our favourite skincare formulas. One of which is the brand’s lactic acid serums. A chemical exfoliant, lactic acid helps to brighten and exfoliate the skin, whilst reducing signs of sun damage and pigmentation. It’s much more gentle than other exfoliating acids (such as glycolic acid), so it can be a great option for dry and sensitive skin types, or for those using chemical exfoliants for the very first time.

Interested? Keep reading to find out more about why you need lactic acid in your routine.

1. It’s an alpha hydroxy acid

Let’s start with the basics – lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which is a type of chemical exfoliant. What was once a confusing acronym a few years ago has fast become a staple in so many skincare routines. AHAs work by breaking down the bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface, resulting in gentle and even exfoliation of dull, dry skin. You’re probably already aware of another AHA, glycolic acid. The key difference to note between lactic and glycolic is that lactic acid has a bigger molecule size, meaning that it’s not as strong on the skin, and making it a better option for sensitive and dry skin types.

2. There are two strengths

Is there anything that The Ordinary hasn’t thought of? If you’re a newbie to acids, you may be a little hesitant to throw yourself in at the deep end, so The Ordinary has two variants of this skincare hero – a 5% and a 10% strength. If acids aren’t already part of your usual routine or your skin is particularly sensitive, we recommend starting with the 5% version and building up over time to the 10%. Always make sure to patch test before using a product that you aren’t already familiar with.

3. It helps to reduce pigmentation and acne scars

AHAs are some of the best types of acid that you can use when it comes to reducing pigmentation and acne scars. By breaking down dead skin cells, lactic acid encourages the regeneration of cells, which in time will help to reduce the appearance of sun damage, pigmentation, and acne scars. Remember that skincare requires routine, so don’t expect to see results overnight and always remain consistent.

4. It improves overall skin texture

As previously mentioned, lactic acid gets rid of dead skin cells on the surface, which means one thing – hello fresh, glowing skin. Not only does lactic acid help to refresh the skin and ease congestion, but due to it’s bigger molecule size and only targeting the top layer of the skin, it also helps to increase natural moisturising factors within the skin. This means that not only will your skin be fresh and clear of build-up, it will never feel stripped either.

5. It’s blended with hyaluronic acid

Although lactic acid is more hydrating than most acids, it still needs a little helping hand to ensure that our skin looks its best after use. As lactic acid exfoliates the skin, it’s important to ensure that the skin remains hydrated so that it doesn’t feel stripped, irritated, or over-dry. The addition of hyaluronic acid allows the skin to retain moisture levels, which in turn reduces any inflammation or irritation.

6. It’s from plant origin

Traditionally found in milk, there are plenty of plant sources of lactic acid too, meaning that The Ordinary’s formulas are vegan and cruelty-free. This formula also contains Tasmanian pepperberry (that gives the formula it’s slightly pink colour), which helps to support the skin and reduce signs of irritation and sensitivity that can also occur as a result of using exfoliating acids.

7. How do I use it?

When using a new active serum, we always recommend patch testing first. Apply a thin layer, once daily in the evening, after toners and before moisturiser. If you’ve not used an acid before, we recommend using this three times a week and gradually building up to daily.