Lactic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that’s derived from milk. It’s commonly used in skincare products, such as creams and serums because it’s been shown to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. Lactic acid works by exfoliating the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing the brighter, smoother skin beneath. In addition, lactic acid can help to increase moisture levels in the skin and boost collagen production. As a result, regular use of lactic acid can leave the skin looking refreshed and youthful.
Retinol is a form of vitamin A that is frequently used in skincare products. It is an ingredient that dermatologists often recommend to patients who are looking to improve the overall appearance of their skin. Retinol can help to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improve skin texture and tone. Additionally, retinol is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. While retinol is available in over-the-counter skincare products, it is also possible to get higher concentrations of retinol through prescription-strength products. Dermatologists can work with patients to determine the best concentration of retinol for their individual needs.
In this blog post, we will find out how to use lactic acid and retinol together in a skincare routine.
Can you use lactic acid and retinol together in a skincare routine?
Yes, you can. However, since applying both ingredients at the same time might be too harsh for some people, it’s recommended that you start by using them on alternate days. For example, you could use a lactic acid product on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then follow up with a retinol product on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. As your skin adjusts to the lactic acid, you can slowly increase the frequency of use until you’re using it every day. The same goes for retinol. Once your skin has adjusted to using both lactic acid and retinol, you can apply them at the same time, in the morning or evening.
Can you mix lactic acid and retinol?
No, you can’t. The combination of these two ingredients might cause irritation, redness, and dryness. With that being said, there are people that can use both lactic acid and retinol without any issues. However, better safe than sorry, so it’s always best to apply them on alternate days, as mentioned above.
How to use lactic acid and retinol?
If you’re new to using AHAs or retinoids, start by applying them every other day. As your skin adjusts, you can slowly increase the frequency of use until you’re using them every day.
Start with a clean face
The basic rule of thumb for using any new skincare product is to start with a clean face. This will help to ensure that the product is able to penetrate the skin and work its magic. So, before applying lactic acid or retinol, wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat it dry.
Note that you should use cleansers that are designed for your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, you may want to use cleansers that are non-comedogenic, oil-free, or water-based.
Apply lactic acid products
To use lactic acid, apply it to clean, dry skin. You can use a cotton pad or your fingers to massage the product into your skin in a circular motion. Start with a lower concentration (5-10%) and increase as tolerated. This acid often comes in toner, serum, or gel form. Just follow the instruction on the packaging.
Apply retinol products
To use retinol, apply it to clean, dry skin before bedtime. Start with a lower concentration (0.5-1%) and increase as tolerated. If you experience any irritation, redness, or dryness, reduce the frequency of use or stop using the product altogether. Depending on the form of retinol, there are instructions for application on the packaging, so be sure to follow those.
Rule of thumb: alternative days
The best practice is to apply each ingredient on alternative days. For example, use a lactic acid product on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then follow up with a retinol product on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Or, at least, if you want to increase the frequency, you can use the acid in the morning and apply retinol at night (because retinol makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight so it’s best to apply retinol at night, otherwise you have to wear sunscreen).
Lactic acid and retinol are two effective skincare ingredients that can be used together in a skincare routine. Just remember to start slow, with alternate days of use, and increase as tolerated. If you experience any irritation, redness, or dryness, reduce the frequency of use or stop using the product altogether. Also, since the acid and the retinol can come in different forms, be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging for application.