Chemical Exfoliants- Lactic Acid vs Salicylic Acid – Suganda-Skincare

Lactic Acid vs Salycylic Acid

Acids are excellent for skin care. Acids are not something very new. Famous Queen Cleopatra used to bathe in sour milk for her glowing skin, which actually contains Lactic acid. And Honey imparts a lovely glow to the skin and its rich in polyhydroxy acid. Here we talk about 2 important acids. Lactic acid, which can be from milk. Salicylic acid originally produced from willow bark is now synthetically derived.

Let's Jump right into the comparison,



Dissolves Dead Skin cells

Dissolves Dead Skin Cells

Hence avoid/ lessen Future breakouts

Hence avoid/ lessen Future breakouts

Water Soluble

Oil Soluble

Exfoliates outer layer

Exfoliates outer layer + can also enter pores and can unplug any blockages

**Does offer good Hydration

Does not offer Hydration. But for Hydration, you can use another moisturiser

Product pH should be 4 or less hence can be not suitable for damaged skin barrier

**Product pH can be 3.5 to 6, hence can be used by people who cannot tolerate low pH

Can make skin a little sun sensitive. If you use sunscreen on a daily basis you should not worry about this.

**No need to worry about Sun sensitivity.  But wearing sunscreen is always a good practice.

**If you are prone to Dark spots after acne (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation), the Lactic acid helps with that.

Less effective than Lactic Acid to treat Dark Spots. But still good enough.

Is slightly Antibacterial

Is slightly Antibacterial

Causes less inflammation than Glycolic acid

**Good Anti-inflammatory

Good for Acne

Good For Acne

**Good For Pigmentation and dark spots

OK for Pigmentation  and Dark Spots

Good For Dry Skin

Good For Dry Skin because you can always use a good moisturiser

Not Suitable  for Sensitive skin

Suitable for Sensitive skin

Use of Sunscreen is a must. Else you might be more prone to sun damage and wrinkles

**No Sun Sensitivity Issues

Apply in the Evenings

**Can be applied whenever

Wait for 5-10 before applying the next product

**You can apply moisturiser immediately

Seem to work slower on acne but over the period of 1 month both can have same Results

Works faster on acne but over the period of 1 month, both can have same Results.


Conclusion : 

Salicylic Acid is good for almost all skin concerns. But Lactic Acid a bit extra good for dark spots, pigmentation. One more thing to keep in mind is Lactic hydrates skin while Salicylic acid dries skin a bit but if you use extra hydration Salicylic acid should be good enough. 

It can be a tough decision for anyone, I use both. Some days Lactic and some Days Salicylic acid. Lactic really helps with fading dark spots it also brings lovely glow and fresher complexion. But since I don't want to completely rely on lactic acid for my exfoliation I also use salicylic acid. This way I can make my skin less sun sensitive. 


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  • arpit kothari on
    m a 40 year mam. Having dark circle around my eyes . I m having oily or I can say combination skin coz my skin is not so much oily but it’s oily . Early having pimple issue but now having only few pimples which comes and go but on my chick having pimple mark which is very less visible . I want a skin routine for myself . I do have some pigmentations but not so much and little uneven skin tone when I compare my forehead with my chicks skin . I seen ur product but confused what I order what I m not order so guide me a full skin care routine for my skin .

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