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Acide lactique : propriétés cosmétiques pour les cheveux.

The Benefits of Lactic Acid for Your Hair

Lactic acid, which is found in fructose or in wine, is a commonly used active ingredient. It is used in the production of hair conditioners, serums, and hair masks. Find out more about the benefits of lactic acid, in this article:

Published March 1, 2024, by Sandrine, Scientific Editor — 3 min read

A Few Words About Lactic Acid

Lactic acid was first extracted from milk by Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. However, it is also found in other foods such as sugar cane and wine.

It is an acid belonging to the alpha-hydroxy acid family. It is obtained by the fermentation of various carbohydrates with the help of microorganisms of the family Lactobacillus. For the skin, it is valued mainly for its gentle, keratolytic and moisturizing properties. It is part of the natural moisturizing factor (NMF) and thanks to its hygroscopic properties it can bind water in the epidermis.

Note: The natural moisturizing factor (NMF) is composed of amino acids, their derivatives and extracellular compounds such as lactic acid. Its hygroscopic properties allows it to bind and retain water in the stratum corneum, thus maintaining skin hydration.

Lactic acid is therefore a very attractive active ingredient for the epidermis, especially due to its keratolytic and moisturizing properties.

The Benefits of Using Lactic Acid for Hair

Although lactic acid is mainly used for the skin, it also provides benefits for the hair:

  • It has an anti-dandruff effect. Dandruff is a problem that affects many people. The phenomenon is caused by a too rapid cell renewal. The cells of the epidermis, not mature enough to eliminate naturally, stick together. By using keratolytic agents such as lactic acid, dandruff can be effectively removed. Thanks to its keratolytic properties, it helps to remove dandruff more easily.

  • If your scalp is dry, it may be due to a disruption in the hydrolipidic film. Lactic acid has hygroscopic properties that prevent insensitive water loss and strengthen the stratum corneum responsible for protecting the skin.

Worth knowing: the scalp is nothing more than the extension of the facial skin! The only difference is the very high presence of hair follicles.

Therefore, lactic acid helps to cleanse the scalp.

To note: Lactic acid is also used as a pH regulator. It allows to acidify hair care products, especially conditioners and mousses.


  • SMITH W. P. & al. Epidermal and dermal effects of topical lactic acid. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (1996).


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