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Lactic Acid and AHAs in Cosmetics

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid has use in diverse cosmetic products. One of the family of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), Lactic acid is safe for use at recommended levels and can enhance the effectiveness of a wide range of cosmetics including splashes, astringents and moisturizers..

AHAs are a group of organic carboxylic compounds. AHAs most commonly used in cosmetic applications are typically derived from food products and include glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid. In personal care, lactic acid is used in the formulation of cleansers, splashes, astringents and moisturizers to enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin. At Essential Wholesale, we use Lactic Acid as one of the AHA ingredients in our products.

About Lactic Acid

Essential Wholesale & Labs' Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid manufactured by fermentation of non-GMO corn-derived carbohydrates. It undergoes several purification steps before arriving at its final state as a clear-to-yellowish, nearly odorless, viscous, water-soluble solution consisting of a mixture of lactic acid and lactic acid lactate.

At low concentration, lactic acid is a pH adjuster. Healthy skin is naturally somewhat acidic making lactic acid a skin-friendly choice when adjusting pH. Lactates are also effective humectants and buffering agents in soaps and wipes due to their excellent ability to attract and hold moisture within the skin.

AHA and Skin Irritation

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel has found lactic acid to be safe to use in cosmetic and personal care products if the concentration is 10% or less, the final product has a pH of 3.5 or greater, and the final product is formulated in such a way that it protects the skin from increased sun sensitivity or its package directions tell consumers to use daily protection from the sun. 

Alpha hydroxyl acids are all known for their potential to irritate skin, but lactic acid is considered one of the mildest AHA’s. Nevertheless, if you are formulating for particularly sensitive people, use caution while formulating with lactic acid. Consider adding soothing, conditioning ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and olive oil to products using AHAs.

Essential Products with AHA include:

AHAs are a wonderful ingredient in skin care - especially when you're looking to improve the appearance of skin and to increase moisture and hydration. Choose the right AHA for sensitivity and be sure to label all your products according to FDA recommendations.

Do you have any other questions about AHAs? Just let us know.

Cream Product W/AHA

Essential Wholesale & Labs proudly offers one of the most diverse selections of Natural and Organic products and ingredients available. Essential products can be filled directly into your own packaging, or with our low minimums, we can fill your packaging for you. Using Essential products as a base, you can create your own unique products your customers are sure to love.

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