Lactic Acid Peel

Not all chemical peels are created equal. While a chemical peel may sound intense and summon images of dry, red, and flaky skin, the truth is not all chemical peels act aggressively on the skin. Lactic acid peels are among the most gentle chemical-peel formulations that work just as effectively to give your skin a major glow-up, even on the dullest of skin days. Reap all the benefits of clinical skin care services with the help of dermatologists in Gainesville at Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center. Contact us today to learn more about our available facial peels, including TCA peels and VI Peel® Chemical Peel, and to schedule a dermatologist appointment.

What Is a Lactic Acid Peel?

A lactic acid peel is a type of professional skin treatment that uses a chemical solution that includes lactic acid to improve and smooth the skin's texture by gently shedding its damaged, uppermost layers. Lactic acid is an anti-wrinkle and pigmentation-fighting super ingredient commonly found in both over-the-counter and professional-grade skin care products.

Lactic acid promotes new skin-cell growth for radiant, soft, and glowing skin. A type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), it is derived from sour milk and used for the most gentle formulation of chemical peels. The inclusion of keratolytic AHA smoothes skin and improves skin texture, while posing less irritation and drying, common with harsher formulations of chemical peels.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid Benefits

As with other types of AHA peels, such as glycolic acid peels, lactic acid peels leverage the benefits of chemical exfoliation for brighter-looking and healthier-feeling skin. Lactic acid is specifically used to treat hyperpigmentation, age spots, sun damage while likewise clearing out debris and dead skin cells and boosting collagen production.

It also offers wonderful hydrating benefits by strengthening the skin's natural moisture barrier, so the skin feels moisturized and cushion-soft. Lactic acid peels also even skin tone and fade discolorations since the peel sheds the top dead layer of skin, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a unified skin texture. See the following for a list of benefits from AHA peels.

  • Increases Cell Turnover
  • Improves Skin's Natural Moisture Factor
  • Stimulates Collagen Renewal For Firmness
  • Removes Dead And Dry Skin Cells
  • Evens-out Skin Tone And Fades Discoloration
  • Improves The Appearance Of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Acne, Acne Scars, Uneven Pigmentation, Melasma, And Sun Damage
  • Produces A Youthful Glow To The Skin
  • Beneficial For The Majority Of Skin Types
  • Minimal Downtime Following Treatment

Lactic Acid Peel Before & After

Lactic acid chemical peels are superficial chemical peels applied to the surface of the skin. There are different strengths of lactic acid used in different peels, which typically range from 5–20%. The higher the concentration of lactic acid, the more extensive the treatment. Despite the availability of at-home lactic acid peels, our dermatology associates note that professional, medical-grade lactic acid peels offer the best results.

The effects of an in-office peel also last longer than over-the-counter (OTC) products, so you can enjoy the benefits for longer in-between visits. The main difference between professional-grade and OTC-grade peels is the concentrations of acid in the formulas. Skin care professionals can likewise help you identify your skin care goals, select the optimal treatments for your skin's needs, and create a treatment plan for you that looks and feels beautiful.

How Long Do Lactic Acid Peels Last?

Results following a lactic acid peel vary from patient to patient, depending on their unique skin needs. A patient who desires correction of a specific skin problem, such as hyperpigmentation or severely aging skin, for example, may receive a recommendation of a series of treatments. A series of treatments can include 4–6 treatments with 3–4 weeks spaced between sessions. Patients who are satisfied but want to boost their skin's appearance may benefit from receiving a lactic acid peel 10–14 days before a special event or occasion. To learn more about lactic acid peels or the best treatment plan for your skin, contact Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center.

Lactic Acid Peel Aftercare

Among the numerous benefits of lactic acid peels is the minimal downtime required to recover following treatment. Some degree of redness, skin flaking, and dryness is expected, but these are typically resolved within 72–96 hours after the peel is completed. Following a lactic acid peel, the skin is highly sensitized. Be sure not to overheat your body by working out or sweating for the first 48 hours after the peel. Additionally, patients should refrain from excessive, direct sun exposure for 2–4 weeks following treatment to allow their skin to adjust without additional stressors.

Patients should wear sunscreen every day. This is particularly important for those using lactic acid. For best results, apply a dermatologist-approved, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 35 and reapply as needed throughout the day. Your skin care professional will provide you with all the information you require regarding aftercare during your appointment; contact our office to learn more!

Are Lactic Acid Peels Safe?

Yes! One of the most significant benefits to AHA peels, including lactic acid peels, is their gentle nature. To help ensure your chemical peel produces the best results, make sure your skin is not excessively dry or peeling before treatment and avoid using drying ingredients, such as retinol and tretinoin, or drying acne products for at least five days before your peel. Also, avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks before treatment and avoid scrubbing or picking at your skin before the peel. Despite the milder nature of lactic acid, however, it is still considered a powerful AHA. Thus, most patients are eligible to receive lactic acid facial peels. Patients with eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea should not receive lactic acid treatments. Those with naturally darker skin may have an increased risk of hyperpigmentation, so it's important to discuss your skin's needs and your goals for treatment before using chemical exfoliants.