Skincare actives are the real MVPs. Think of them as the heavy hitters in your skincare routine, doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to targeting and treating our skin concerns.
Although many actives do wonders on their own, there are several ingredient combos that supercharge each other’s benefits when paired together. One prime example is vitamin C and lactic acid. Together, these two ingredients deliver an added boost of antioxidant protection and skin brightening. Read below to learn more about why these hardworking heroes work better together and should be your go-to combo for reviving dull, sun-damaged skin.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant powerhouse with a wide range of protective and anti-aging benefits. This science-backed active fights off free radicals (AKA the unstable molecules that break down collagen and accelerate premature aging), evens skin tone, and promotes new collagen production, delivering firmer, brighter, and more youthful-looking skin.
Pro tip: Although vitamin C does an incredible job of shielding skin from free radicals that come from the sun and other environmental aggressors, it does not replace your sunscreen. For the best protection against environmental damage, layer your vitamin C under a physical sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
What is lactic acid?
Lactic acid is a gentle member of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family and one of the largest molecularly. Like its AHA siblings, lactic acid works to dissolve dead skin buildup and stimulate cell turnover, resulting in a smoother, softer, and more-even complexion. However, its large molecule size inhibits it from penetrating the skin as quickly as its fellow AHAs, making it less likely to cause irritation. Lactic acid also shines as a humectant, helping improve the skin’s natural moisture barrier and hydration levels, so it’s especially great for those with dry or sensitive skin. It also has antioxidant properties.
Why do vitamin C and lactic acid work well together?
When lactic acid and vitamin c are formulated together, it improves the performance and absorption of vitamin C, making it an especially beneficial duo for those with sun-damaged skin, stubborn dark spots, and any other pigmentation concerns. But it doesn’t stop there:
- Lactic acid works to gently remove the surface layer of barrier-forming dead skin cells, allowing vitamin C to deeply penetrate the skin and effectively deliver its protective and brightening benefits.
- Lactic acid works to replenish ceramides and GAGs in the skin, which strengthens the moisture barrier, locks in hydration, and soothes irritation, making it the perfect partner for vitamin C which can sometimes cause irritation when it’s formulated on its own.
- Similar to vitamin C, recent medical studies have shown that lactic acid also has antioxidant properties, so when the two ingredients are paired together, they neutralize free radicals in all layers of skin, giving you double the antioxidant protection.
You can find this skin-saving combo in our new Vitamin C Lactic collection that defends the skin from daily sun-aging and prevents future signs from surfacing.
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