Scientific information concerning lactic acid


Lactic acid is the most widely occurring acid in nature. In the form of lactate it is a normal constituent of the human organism and an important intermediate product of metabolism, for example as a product of the breakdown of sugar through lactic acid fermentation. Lactic acid is present in sweat, muscle blood serum, in the kidney and the gall bladder, and in saliva. It is contained in almost all shampoos, in many cosmetic products, foodstuffs (e.g. pickled cucumbers, pickled cabbage, and sour dough, …). The antiseptic effect of lactate protects the skin  against disease-causing agents. The formation and subsequent breakdown of lactic acid in the body following sport is responsible for the familiar feeling of muscle soreness. The highly diluted lactic acid  solution which is administered on the body in the Skinial method is broken down (synthesised)  automatically and without leaving any residues within 30 minutes of it producing its effects (i.e. the repulsion of the pigment molecules).

Lactic acid is used in a concentration of up to 40 % as a “chemical ex-foliating agent”, even in very large quantities of 50 ml or more, on the face and body. Doctors also use concentrations of over 70% to treat acne.

– Expert Knowledge –

As a rule, dermatologists are barely familiar with the subject of tattoo removal and lactic acid. What even the majority of specialists are barely aware of is that the dermal assessment depends less  on the degree of acidity than on the pH value. In the case of the liquid used by Skinial is comparable with many cosmetic products the safety of which has already been assessed. Coca-Cola for instance has only a pH value of  2.3.

Sources for more in-depth study of the subject:

1. Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (Germany)

The BfR report cited above also mentions a letter written by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection in which lactic acid is described as follows:

“… L(+)-lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid which occurs naturally in plants and animals. It arises endogenously in processes of decomposition and through the action of micro-organisms in the gastro-intestinal tract. Lactic acid is also ingested in food. …”

2. PharmaWIKI

PharmaWIKI writes for example: skin care products are nurturing and hydrating skin care products (salves, creams, lotions), … Some contain moisturizing or moisture-retaining substances, such as urea or lactic acid for example. (Source: )

3. The GESTIS materials database of the IFA

The GESTIS materials database of the IFA (Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance) explains how lactic acid is naturally absorbed and metabolized in the body:  “… The effectiveness of the metabolism can be explained by the fact that L(+)-M. (lactic acid) is also physiologically formed in the organism and broken down by lactate dehydrogenase. …. metabolism takes place through conversion to L(+)-M. in the liver or through conversion to glucose/glycogen (sugar) … .”

4. Clinical study relating to lactic acid by PRIORI® Advanced AHA Cosmeceuticals

Clinical study relating to lactic acid by PRIORI® Advanced AHA Cosmeceuticals: (excerpts from the study)

“… Furthermore, research results have demonstrated that lactic acid triggers the natural healing process and therefore significantly increases the skin’s ability to bind water. The inclusion of these results relating to the Advanced AHA product range incorporating LCA Complex has led to a significant improvement in the effectiveness of the products, which is shown in the good results achieved in domestic use and use at cosmetics institutes. … The body’s own lactic acid is our skin’s natural moisturiser which leads to significantly improved results with fewer occurrences of skin irritation. Moreover, the latest research results show that compared to other fruit acids lactic acid is significantly more effective as regards its reinforcing effect on the hyaluronic acid content of the skin (70-95% more effective than glycolic acid). … In addition, it has recently been demonstrated that the fruit acids increase the moisture content of the skin via a natural wound healing response – since lactic acid constitutes the body’s own fruit acid the results are even clearer. … Hyaluronic acid continues to play an important role in cell differentiation and the migration of cells through a tissue, as happens during wound healing for example. … The natural trigger for the formation of hyaluronic acid by our skin is lactic acid, which also has the most powerful effect in this regard compared to all the other fruit acids, and therefore contributes in a natural manner to healthy and radiant skin. 

Lactic acid is therefore the fruit acid of choice for increasing the natural moisture content of the skin – which is especially important in the case of older skin. Furthermore, it has recently been demonstrated that the fruit acids increase the moisture content of the skin via a natural wound healing response – as lactic acid constitutes the body’s own fruit acid, the results are even clearer.


A Safety Assessment relating to the use of 30%-concentration lactic acid in cosmetic applications(CIR Compendium 2011) established among other things that the incidence of skin irritation is very low when 30% lactic acid is used, but that there may sometimes be increased UV-sensitivity (according to one of two studies).

“ … Likewise, rinse-off uses with concentrations no greater than 30% and a pH no less than 3.0 are considered to present an acceptable irritation risk if applied in a brief, discontinuous fashion followed by thorough rinsing by trained individuals. … Sun Sensitivity – Limited data assessing the effects on MED show that the MED was increased in one study and reduced in another by AHA application. … The Expert Panel expanded on the meaning of daily use of sun protection to include the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommendations. The AAD recommends avoiding the sun between the peak hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater and wearing protective clothing and hats. …”

Can tattoos be removed without scarring

Expertise – Key messages from Skinial:

  1. Any tattooing process leaves scars. Many are visible to the naked eye and can be felt by touch, others can only be seen under the microscope.
  2. No reliable tattoo removal can be carried out without mechanical or high-energy damage to (traumatisation of) the skin.
  3. In the case of people with light skin or a tendency to have visible scars, there is a greater risk of scars remaining visible following the treatment. People with a predisposition to very good healing of skin injuries will have very little, if any, scarring.
  4. Whether visible scarring occurs depends on many factors. Crucial factors include
  • Follow-up care for the location that has been treated
  • The person’s general health
  • The ability of the skin to regenerate
  • The resilience of the immune system
  • The hereditary characteristics of the skin

Conclusion: Anyone who wishes to totally exclude the possibility of scarring must refrain from having a tattoo removed, or should preferably avoid getting a tattoo in the first place.

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