Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid. It is a normal constituent of tissues and blood. The alpha-hydroxy acids (and their salts) may act as humectants when applied to the skin. This property may influence hydration of the stratum corneum. In addition, lactic acid, when applied to the skin, may act to decrease corneocyte cohesion. The mechanism(s) by which this is accomplished is not yet known.
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/8/2017
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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