7 Best Lactic Acid Serums for Silky Smooth Skin (2021 ✅)

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Find the best lactic acid serum for your skin type, skin condition, and budget! Overall, my top recommendation is Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment.

Lactic acid serums are an effective and affordable way to keep your skin in tip-top shape while maintaining the results of a professional or at-home chemical peel like a lactic acid peel.

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

Let's find out!

RELATED:

What Is The Best Lactic Acid Serum?

Here are my top recommendations:

  1. Editor's Choice: Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment
  2. Professional Quality: Erno Laszlo AHA Resurfacing Sleep Serum
  3. Best for Dark Spots: Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum
  4. Best for A Gorgeous Glow: Farmacy Beauty Honeymoon Glow
  5. Best for Silky Smooth Skin: Paula's Choice Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA
  6. Best for Hyperpigmentation: Civant Skin Care AHA Exfoliating Serum
  7. Best for Body Blemishes: REN Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum
Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment
1
EDITOR'S CHOICE

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).

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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Erno Laszlo AHA Resurfacing Sleep Serum
2
PROFESSIONAL QUALITY

Erno Laszlo 
AHA Resurfacing 
Sleep Serum

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Best For:

✅ Sleeping Beauty

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Vegan Lactic Acid
⭐ Glycolic Acid
⭐ Citric Acid
⭐ Goji Berry
⭐ Wild Plum
⭐ Perfection Peptide P3

Key Features:

👍 15% AHA Blend
👍 Professional Quality
👍 Premium Brand

Sleep smarter with Erno Laszlo AHA Resurfacing Sleep Serum, an overnight lactic acid serum with the exfoliating power of a chemical peel.

Let a blend of 15% AHAs (glycolic, lactic, and citric acids) rejuvenate and refresh your tired skin while you dream for a milky smooth complexion in the morning!

Sustainably sourced, plant-based lactic acid helps brighten dark spots while glycolic acid evens out skin tone.

Goji berries, one of the richest sources of antioxidants, provide anti-aging benefits while wild plum extracts (Kakadu plum, Illawarra plum, and Budekin plum) reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

Finally, perfection peptide P3 (a tripeptide created by Mibelle AG Biochemistry) speeds up cell renewal to smooth wrinkles, improve tone, and revitalize dull skin.

RELATED:

Erno Laszlo AHA Resurfacing Sleep Serum Ad

My Verdict: Boost your beauty sleep routine with Erno Laszlo AHA Resurfacing Sleep Serum to rejuvenate and refresh tired skin with 15% AHAs, goji berry, and wild plum extracts, for a milky smooth complexion in the morning that's worthy of a true sleeping beauty. 😉

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Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum
3
BEST FOR DARK SPOTS

Dermalogica 
BioLumin-C Serum

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Best For:

✅ Dark Spots
✅ Age Spots
✅ Uneven Skin Tone
✅ Signs of Aging

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Lactic Acid
⭐ Vitamin C Derivatives
⭐ Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5
⭐ Sophora Japonica Flower
⭐ Chia Seed Oil

Key Features:

👍 Professional Quality
👍 Cruelty-Free
🏆 Excellent Reviews

Send your dark spots to the dark side with the Force of both lactic acid and vitamin C derivatives using Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum.

You already know that lactic acid is a multi-tasking powerhouse, capable of exfoliating, brightening, and hydrating, all at the same time!

But did you know that vitamin C is the true Jedi master with powerful antioxidant abilities that brighten, firm (stimulates collagen production), and protect your skin from free radical damage?

The problem with vitamin C, though, has always been its stability as pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) will oxidize over time, reducing its antioxidant potency.

Manufacturers have invented many vitamin C derivatives to solve this issue, but usually with some efficacy loss.

In this case, Dermalogica uses two vitamin C derivatives:

  • Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate
  • Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate

While both are considered stable, they are relatively recent vitamin C derivatives, which means the medical research on them is very limited. Now, that's not to say they don't work, just that third-party research on them hasn't been published yet.

Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum Ad

In addition to lactic acid and vitamin C, palmitoyl tripeptide-5 (a synthetic peptide) increases firmness for smoother-feeling skin while sophora japonica flower fights oxidative stress and chia seed oil nourishes parched skin.

My Verdict: No match, your dark spots are, for the combined power of lactic acid and vitamin C using Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum with bonus peptides to promote firmer skin.

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Farmacy Beauty Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum
4
BEST FOR A GORGEOUS GLOW

Farmacy Beauty 
Honeymoon Glow

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Best For:

✅ All Natural Glow
✅ Soft & Dewy Skin
✅ Refined Pores

Key Ingredients:

⭐ 10% AHA Blend
⭐ 1% BHA
⭐ 3% Flower Acids
⭐ Hyaluronic Acid
⭐ Honey Blend

Key Features:

👍 Clean Ingredients
👍 Fragrance-Free
👍 Cruelty-Free
🌍 Sustainable Choice
🏆 1,000+ Reviews!

Have you been searching for the "holy grail" of skincare: a natural & healthy glow?

Farmacy Beauty Honeymoon Glow is designed to make your dream come true with clean ingredients that help peel away dead skin cells and brighten your complexion.

A 10% AHA blend of lactic, glycolic, citric, and fruit acids, resurfaces dull skin and fades hyperpigmentation while 1% BHA, natural salicylic acid from willow bark, clarifies your complexion and shrinks pores.

3% flower acids from hibiscus flower extract provides gentle exfoliation while hyaluronic acid and a proprietary honey blend intensely hydrates to prevent moisture loss, leaving your skin looking plump and smooth. 🤗

With 1,000+ reviews, Honeymoon Glow is a natural bestseller that proves you can have clean formulas that are effective and environmentally responsible.

(Farmacy Beauty has committed to 100% carbon neutral shipping and waste-free packaging)

You can interact with the full ingredient list as well and learn more about any ingredient (powered by the ClearForMe database of 2+ million ingredients).

Farmacy Beauty Honeymoon Glow Ad

My Verdict: Let your skin glow like never before with Farmacy Beauty Honeymoon Glow featuring 10% AHAs, 1% BHA, 3% flower acids, HA, and honey extracts, for soft & dewy skin!

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Paula's Choice Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA
5
BEST FOR SILKY SMOOTH SKIN

Paula's Choice
Advanced Smoothing 
Treatment 10% AHA

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Best For:

✅ Silky Smooth Skin
✅ Rapid Radiance
✅ Purified Pores

Key Ingredients:

⭐ 10% AHA Blend
⭐ Peptides
⭐ Ceramides
⭐ Antioxidants
⭐ Licorice Root
⭐ Oat Extract

Key Features:

🧪 pH 3.5-4.0
👍 Cruelty-Free
👍 Amazing Ingredients
👍 Best Value for Money
👍 Money Back Guarantee

Are you looking for an AHA serum that does it all without breaking the bank?

Paula's Choice (founded in 1995) has what you need with Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA.

Like all Paula's Choice products, this one offers an amazing ingredient list, in an optimal pH range to penetrate your skin, and at a super affordable price!

10% AHAs including glycolic, lactic, malic, and tartaric, refine and renew while peptides and ceramides improve skin texture, including firmness and elasticity.

Meanwhile, a potent antioxidant complex of chamomile, green tea, grape seed, elderberry, and pomegranate protects your skin from environmental damage.

Licorice root extract brightens, allantoin hydrates, and oat extract soothes sensitive skin after treatment.

Use 2x daily to peel away sun damage, fade signs of aging, and reveal younger-looking skin!

Paula's Choice is cruelty-free and backed by an industry leading 60-day money back guarantee.

Paula's Choice Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA Ad

My Verdict: Smooth your skin with Paula's Choice Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA featuring an amazing ingredient list of 10% AHAs, peptides, ceramides, and antioxidants, for fresher, firmer, and fabulously-looking skin!

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Civant Skin Care AHA Exfoliating Serum
5
BEST FOR HYPERPIGMENTATION

Civant Skin Care 
AHA Exfoliating Serum

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Best For:

✅ Hyperpigmentation
✅ Dark Spots
✅ Melasma
✅ Age Spots
✅ Uneven Skin Tone

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Glycolic Acid
⭐ Lactic Acid
⭐ Capryloyl Salicylic Acid
⭐ Hyaluronic Acid
⭐ Vitamin B3, B5, E
⭐ Argan Oil

Key Features:

👍 Clean Ingredients
👍 Vegan / Cruelty-Free
👍 Made in the USA
👍 Money Back Guarantee

From the makers of the #1 bestselling Meladerm, comes a powerful and complimentary glycolic acid serum.

AHA Exfoliating Serum is part of a full skincare routine inspired by the massive success of Meladerm for treating hyperpigmentation, dark spots, melasma, and age spots.

(for more info, check out Advanced Brightening Kit which includes 2 full-size bottles of Meladerm)

Glycolic, lactic, and capryloyl salicylic acid (a derivative of salicylic acid known as a lipohydroxy acid or LHA) clear out dead skin cells, stimulate cell renewal, and increase your skin's absorption of subsequent products.

Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid and panthenol (vitamin B5) soothe sensitive skin and boost moisture levels for smoother, softer skin texture.

Finally, niacinamide (vitamin B3) helps even out skin tone by blocking melanosome transfer from melanocytes while rich argan oil and vitamin E nourish dry skin.

All Civant Skin Care products are vegan, cruelty-free, made in the USA, and come with an industry leading 30-day money back guarantee.

AHA Exfoliating Serum Ad

My Verdict: Brighter, clearer, and smoother skin is possible if you have hyperpigmentation like dark spots, melasma, age spots, and uneven skin tone. Use AHA Exfoliating Serum along with a natural and plant-based skin lightening cream like Meladerm for best results.

For the best deal, check out Advanced Brightening Kit which includes 2 full sizes of Meladerm.

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REN Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum
7
BEST FOR BODY BLEMISHES

REN Clean Skincare
AHA Smart Renewal 
Body Serum

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Best For:

✅ Body Acne
✅ Body Blemishes
✅ Keratosis Pilaris
✅ Head-to-Toe Glow

Key Ingredients:

⭐ Lactic Acid
⭐ Probiotic Extract
⭐ Xylitol

Key Features:

👍 6.8 oz Value Size
👍 Clean Ingredients
👍 Cruelty-Free
🌎 Sustainable Choice

Whether you have body acne, keratosis pilaris, or just want a "head-to-toe" glow, Ren Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Serum is the answer to smoother & softer skin.

This premium body serum features lactic acid (derived from yeast, not animal sources), probiotic extract to balance your skin's natural microbiome, and xylitol (derived from vegetable bark) to restore water reserves and keep your skin better hydrated.

And if you have sensitive skin, you'll be happy to know that Ren Clean Skincare only uses clean ingredients that are dermatologist tested to provide results without causing unnecessary skin irritation.

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

REN Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum Ad

My Verdict: Keep your body clear of blemishes, acne, and KP for stunning & smooth skin with Ren Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Serum featuring lactic acid, probiotics, and xylitol.

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Woman Applying Face Serum to Hand
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