7 Best Lactic Acid Products for A Perfect Routine (2021 ✅)

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Find the best lactic acid products for your skin type, skin condition, and budget!

Overall, here are my top recommendations:

Lactic acid products are an effective and affordable way to keep your skin in tip-top shape and maintain the results of professional treatments like chemical peels and microneedling.

But with so many lactic acid products on the market, which one is right for you? 🤔

In this post, I'll discuss how to buy a lactic acid product and my top recommendations.

Let's get started!

RELATED:

What Are The Best Lactic Acid Products?

Here are my top recommendations for the perfect lactic acid routine:

  1. Best Lactic Acid Cleanser: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
  2. Best Lactic Acid Toner: REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic
  3. Best Lactic Acid Serum: Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment
  4. Best Lactic Acid Lotion: AmLactin Rapid Relief Restoring Lotion + Ceramides
  5. Best Lactic Acid Peel: Perfect Image Lactic 50% Gel Peel
  6. Best Lactic Acid Mask: Glytone Rejuvenating Mask (3.0 PFAV Glycolic Acid)
  7. Best Lactic Acid Body Wash: Platinum Skin Care Glycolic & Lactic Body Wash
Murad AHA BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
1
BEST CLEANSER

Murad AHA/BHA 
Exfoliating Cleanser

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Best For:

✅ Cleansing
✅ Exfoliation
✅ Hydration
✅ Brightness
✅ Smoothness

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Glycolic Acid
⭐ Lactic Acid
⭐ Salicylic Acid
⭐ Jojoba Esters
⭐ Vitamin C Derivative
⭐ Licorice Root Extract

Key Features:

👍 6.75 oz Value Size
👍 For All Skin Types, including Sensitive Skin
🏆 5 Stars on Amazon!
🏆 1,500+ Reviews

If you haven't tried Murad's #1 bestselling AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser yet, what are you waiting for?!

(obviously, a massive sale! 😉 On Prime Day last year, this popular lactic acid cleanser was 30% off!)

With 1,500+ reviews and an astronomical 4.8/5.0 rating (85% five-star ratings), I've literally never seen such a highly rated product in all my years as a skincare editor.

Featuring a triple-acid blend of glycolic, lactic, and salicylic, this cleanser chemically exfoliates dead skin cells, removes surface debris and excess oils, and effectively prepares your skin for further treatments, such as a vitamin C serum, retinol cream, or chemical peel.

While alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid may trigger skin sensitivities in some people (lactic acid is very gentle), most customers reported no skin reactions on their usually sensitive skin. 👍

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Meanwhile, biodegradable jojoba beads physically exfoliate to polish away dull, dry skin.

(don't worry, it's nowhere near as abrasive as your typical drugstore face scrub)

Murad AHA BHA Exfoliating Cleanser Ad

Finally, although it's not mentioned on the package, Murad also included a vitamin C derivative (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) and licorice root extract (Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate), both of which provide skin brightening benefits by inhibiting your skin's melanin production.

However, this is definitely not as effective in a cleanser format compared to a vitamin C serum, so think of it as a bonus freebie in this otherwise pretty simple formulation.

RELATED:

My Verdict: If you're in the market for a new cleanser, Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser might have you changing your entire skincare routine (spoiler: it's that good!).

With 1,500+ reviews and an astronomical 4.8/5.0 on Amazon, this triple-acid cleanser is both effective and excellent value for money (the 6.75 oz size will last you many months).

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REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic
2
BEST TONER

REN Clean Skincare 
Ready Steady Glow 
Daily AHA Tonic

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Best For:

✅ Brighter Skin
✅ Clearer Skin
✅ Smoother Skin

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Lactic Acid
⭐ Willow Bark Extract
⭐ Azelaic Acid Precursors
⭐ Citrus Fruit Acids

Key Features:

👍 8.5 oz Value Size
👍 Clean Ingredients
👍 Vegan / Cruelty-Free
🌎 Sustainable Choice
🏆 #1 Fan Favorite
🏆 1,300+ Reviews!

This bestselling lactic acid toner needs no introduction: REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic is always ready to fade your dark spots, brighten skin tone, and promote a visibly irresistable glow.

This AHA/BHA toner uses lactic acid (AHA) to exfoliate dead skin cells for cleaner, smoother skin texture and willow bark extract, a natural source of salicylic acid (BHA), to clear up blemishes and clean out pores.

Meanwhile, azelaic acid precursors (potassium azeloyl diglycinate) provide similar benefits to pure azelaic acid, namely correcting skin discoloration by suppressing overactive melanin production. (source: Paula's Choice)

Finally, citrus fruit acids from mandarin, orange, grapefruit, and tangerine, contain natural AHAs that dissolve dead skin cells, excess oils, and clogged pores.

With over 1,300+ reviews, Daily AHA Tonic is not only the most popular lactic acid toner, but the best value as well with an 8.5 oz value size bottle for $38 (~$4.5 per oz).

For an even better deal, get the 16.9 oz super value size for only $52 (~$3 per oz).

RELATED:

All Ren Clean Skincare products are cruelty-free and the brand is committed to sustainability with a pledge to Zero Waste packaging by the end of 2021.

In fact, Daily AHA Tonic's plastic bottle now use 100% post-consumer recycled material. 👍

REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic Ad

My Verdict: Get ready to glow with Ren Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic featuring lactic acid, willow bark extract, azelaic acid precursors, and citric fruit acids to promote a significantly brighter, clearer, and smoother complexion, every single day!

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Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment
3
BEST SERUM

Sunday Riley 
Good Genes

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Best For:

✅ Dark Spots
✅ Uneven Skin Tone
✅ Wrinkles
✅ Fine Lines
✅ Sensitive Skin

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Lactic Acid
⭐ Licorice Root
⭐ Lemongrass Oil
⭐ Arnica Flower
⭐ Prickly Pear

Key Features:

👍 1.0 oz / 1.7 oz Sizes
👍 Cruelty-Free
👍 Fragrance-Free
🏆 Cult Classic!
🏆 5,000+ Reviews

Don't let dullness or discoloration get you down!

Sunday Riley Good Genes is a cult classic that harnesses the power of lactic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells for visibly brighter, clearer, and smoother-looking skin.

Purified lactic acid multi-tasks (like you in the morning) by smoothing rough skin texture like wrinkles and fine lines while boosting your naturally youthful radiance by promoting faster cell turnover.

Meanwhile, licorice root extract brightens skin tone by suppressing melanin production, lemongrass oil adds astringent properties to refresh your skin, and arnica flower extract reduces skin inflammation.

Finally, prickly pear extract (desert cactus) rounds out the formula with hydrating and soothing benefits.

Now, I should mention that while Good Genes has received 1,000's of positive reviews, it is a bit expensive.

This might be because it uses higher quality ingredients and a base of botanical extracts instead of regular water (including prickly pear, arnica, aloe, and agave leaf).

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For a more affordable option (without the botanical extracts), The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% is a pretty good Sunday Riley dupe and a bestselling lactic acid serum in its own right.

(although, on a personal note, I didn't see any significant results when I used it a few years ago)

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment Ad

My Verdict: Give your skin all the brightness, clarity, and smoothness that it deserves with the bestselling Sunday Riley Good Genes featuring multi-tasking lactic acid, brightening licorice, refreshing lemongrass, soothing arnica flower, and hydrating prickly pear extract.

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AmLactin Rapid Relief Restoring Lotion Ceramides
4
BEST LOTION

AmLactin Rapid Relief 
Restoring Lotion + Ceramides

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Best For:

✅ Dry Skin
✅ Flakiness
✅ Rough Skin
✅ Eczema
✅ Psoriasis
✅ Ichthyosis
✅ Keratosis Pilaris

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Lactic Acid (ULTRAPLEX)
⭐ 3 Types of Ceramides

Key Features:

👍 Non-Comedogenic
👍 Fragrance-Free

AmLactin is my #1 overall pick because it helps hydrate dry and flaky skin while also alleviating the symptoms of more serious conditions like eczema and keratosis pilaris (KP).

The key benefits of this product include:

  • AHAs: AmLactin contains lactic acid. As an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), lactic acid exfoliates and hydrates your skin to reduce dryness, itchiness, and roughness.
  • Ceramides: Fatty acids called ceramides are responsible for maintaining your skin barrier and locking in moisture. However, those with conditions like eczema tend to naturally have fewer ceramides. Using AmLactin can help replenish your ceramide count to keep your skin feeling smooth and hydrated.
  • Dermatologist-recommended: Dermatologists often recommend AmLactin for those with keratosis pilaris as it moisturizes your skin and encourages cell turnover. This helps remove those little red bumps, making it perfect for KP patients.

RELATED:

Overall, AmLactin has received very positive feedback with over 4,000 reviews on Amazon.

Customers reported fewer bumps, reduced dryness and irritation, and more hydrated skin. However, some users said the lotion felt “tacky” and “sticky”, which can make it less comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

My Verdict: AmLactin is my #1 pick for a lactic acid lotion that helps with rough & bumpy skin, keratosis pilaris, and eczema.

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Perfect Image Lactic 50% Gel Peel
5
BEST PEEL

Perfect Image 
Lactic 50% Gel Peel

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Best For:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Uneven Tone / Dull Skin
  • Dark Spots / Sun Spots
  • Wrinkles / Fine Lines
  • Aging / Age Spots
  • Acne / Acne Scars
  • Sensitive Skin / Dry Skin

Key Ingredients:

  • Lactic Acid
  • Kojic Acid
  • Bearberry
  • Licorice Root

Key Features:

  • Spa-Quality
  • Botanical Extracts
  • Cruelty-Free
  • GMP Certified
  • Made in USA

Do you dream of brighter, more even looking skin without annoying dark spots, age spots, or blemishes?

If so, it's time to wake up because Perfect Image has the perfect answer with Lactic 50% Gel Peel!

(my readers get 20% off at Perfect Image with DERM20 👍)

With over 1,500 reviews, this powerful chemical peel combines 50% lactic acid with natural brightening agents like kojic acid, bearberry, and licorice root extract, to help complete your quest for a healthy & youthful glow.

Lactic acid, one of the most popular alpha hydroxy acids, works by removing dead skin cells from the epidermis to stimulate faster cell turnover and collagen production, resulting in smoother & firmer skin texture. 🤗

At the same time, lactic acid helps draw moisture into the epidermis from the lower layers of your skin, boosting overall hydration levels and reducing the appearance of shallow wrinkles, fine lines, and atrophic scars.

Meanwhile, our brightening (special) agents slow down melanin production by deactivating tyrosinase enzymes, sending the root cause of pigmentation to a grinding halt.

RELATED:

Finally, a blend of botanical extracts (green tea, cucumber, chamomile, comfrey) soothes skin and reduces redness for a more comfortable peel experience.

Perfect Image Lactic 50% Gel Peel Ad

As with any chemical peel, make sure to follow all pre-peel and post-peel instructions, including pretreatment with a melanin inhibitor like Meladerm to help darker skin types avoid PIH.

For best results, cleanse your skin with Hydro-Glo Skin Brightening Cleanser, apply the gel peel with Premium Peel Application Pads, and follow-up with Hydra-Repair Super Moisturizer. 😉

Perfect Image Coupon: Perfect Image is giving my readers 20% off with promo code DERM20 and shipping is always free in the US with any $20 order (exclusively at Perfect Image 👍).

My Verdict: I don't always use a lactic acid peel, but when I do, I prefer Perfect Image because it's a high-quality chemical peel with bonus brightening boosters at a reasonable price.

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Glytone Rejuvenating Mask
6
BEST MASK

Glytone 
Rejuvenating Mask

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Best For:

✅ Wrinkles
✅ Fine Lines
✅ Blemishes
✅ Clogged Pores
✅ Uneven Skin Tone

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Glycolic Acid
⭐ Lactic Acid
⭐ Vitamin C
⭐ Kaolin Clay
⭐ Bentonite Clay
⭐ Collagen
⭐ Glycerin

Key Features:

🧪 3% Free Acid Value
👍 3 oz Size
👍 Non-Comedogenic
🏆 Professional Quality
🏆 Excellent Reviews

Does your skin need a professional rejuvenation?

Let Glytone Rejuvenating Mask boost your skincare routine in just 10 minutes, 3 times a week.

This powerful glycolic acid mask uses 3% free acid value, which is ~7.5% glycolic acid if you assume a pH of 4.

Remember, free acid value is a much better measure of the true concentration of glycolic acid, however, most manufacturers don't disclose this information or even provide the pH level (required to calculate FAV).

That's why I trust Glytone for alpha hydroxy acid products as this brand always provides the free acid value so you know exactly what you're getting.

(Glytone calls it Precision Free Acid Value or PFAV).

This mask works wonders for anti-aging concerns like wrinkles, fine lines, and sun damage, as glycolic acid and lactic acid exfoliate dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new, healthy skin tissue.

It helps control adult acne and blemishes as well by opening clogged pores and absorbing excess oils.

RELATED:

Glytone Rejuvenating Mask Ad

Meanwhile, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) helps fade dark spots and brighten your complexion while kaolin and bentonite clays draw out impurities and detoxify your skin.

Finally, soluble collagen accelerates the recovery process to build smoother and firmer skin while glycerin helps keep your skin hydrated.

My Verdict: Keep your skin looking younger and smoother with Glytone Rejuvenating Mask featuring 3.0 PFAV glycolic acid, lactic acid, vitamin C, purifying clays, collagen, and glycerin.

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Platinum Skin Care Glycolic & Lactic Body Wash
7
BEST BODY WASH

Platinum Skin Care
Glycolic & Lactic Body Wash

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Best For:

✅ Bulk Buyers
✅ Savvy Shoppers
✅ Exfoliation Enthusiasts

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Glycolic Acid
⭐ Lactic Acid
⭐ Vitamin A, C, E

Key Features:

👍 16 oz Value Size
👍 Free Loofah
🍊 Fruity Fragrance
🏆 Professional Quality
🏆 Extraordinary Reviews

If you want the best lactic acid body wash, I recommend Platinum Skin Care Glycolic & Lactic Body Wash.

Platinum Skin Care is a high-quality skincare brand with almost 20 years of experience that's best known for its #1 selling TCA Peel.

Glycolic & Lactic Body Wash features a blend of 15% glycolic and lactic acids, vitamins A, C, and E, plus a fruity fragrance of lemon, grapefruit, and tangerine.

Customer reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and it's only $28 for a 16 oz bottle!

(that's almost 3x the size of Glytone for a lower price!)

RELATED:

You can use this luxurious glycolic body wash for all body concerns, including keratosis pilaris, rough skin texture, sagging skin, dry knees and elbows, cracked heels, and more!

My Verdict: Clear up your body blemishes with Platinum Skin Care Glycolic & Lactic Body Wash, featuring 15% glycolic and lactic acids, vitamins, and fruit fragrance, at only $28 for 16 oz.

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