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What Are the Benefits of Lactic Acid for Skin?

By Manna Zelealem

Cleopatra was said to have bathed in milk—she and her famously smooth skin had a routine were lightyears ahead of her time, indulging in the many benefits of lactic acid for skin, which we know can be found in milk, or be 100% vegan and derived from corn sugar, like in the Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are the acids that get it done. Naturally derived from sugar, milk, fruit, and other sources, they gently remove the buildup of dry, dead cells from the surface of your skin, turning over those cells to reveal a softer, more refreshed complexion. Because lactic acid attracts water molecules, it allows skin to retain more moisture and feel more hydrated.


Lactic acid is good for all skin types, and those with mature, acneic, or reactive skin skincare can especially benefit. In its original form, it organically ferments breads, wines, and dairy products. By treating age spots and hyperpigmentation, a harmless skin condition in which different patches of skin appear darker than others, lactic acid makes itself a good pick for people experiencing an uneven complexion. When looking for products, double-check the list of ingredients for a lactic acid content of 10% or less—a higher percentage product is more likely to irritate your skin at first. (The Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner is powered by 8% lactic acid.)


When used regularly in your favorite skin routine, lactic acid smooths skin texture, renews your skin cells, and leads to healthier, more hydrated skin. Always remember, if lactic acid (or any exfoliant, really) is part of your skin’s starting lineup, a good sunscreen should be, too.