Lactic Acid (Eczema)

Lactate (lactic acid) is an organic acid that exists naturally in our skin. In the skin, lactate works partly by attracting and holding water, as one of the components in the so-called natural moisturising factor1. This serves to keep the upper skin layers well-hydrated, which is important for maintaining a healthy skin barrier function2.

What does the science say?

Level of evidence: B

HelloSkin’s experts could not find any clinical data on the specific effects of lactate in people with eczema. However, studies have shown that there is a lower level of natural moisturising factors in eczematous skin than in healthy skin1.

A recent study compared using a moisturiser with 12% lactate compared with a 5% lactate and one without lactate for a period of 21 days. Initial results showed that all three creams were equally effective in reducing skin dryness in people with moderate-to-severe skin dryness (xerosis). However, when tests were performed two weeks after the participants had stopped using the products, the group that had applied the 12% lotion had a better outcome than the others3.

The concentration of an ingredient is important for its efficacy, and therefore products containing the same ingredient may not necessarily have the same effect as in the studies mentioned above. Updated: July. 2017

Updated: July 2017


1[J Dermatol Sci. 2012

2[Practical Dermatology 36-40, July 2012].

3[Arch Dermatol. 1983