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Lactic acid is a gentle alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that promotes skin cell turnover—which helps soften and smooth skin, improving its overall appearance and texture. Plus, lactic acid is one component of the skin's natural moisturizing factor, a blend of compounds naturally found in the skin that helps it hold on to moisture. Because lactic acid is so gentle, it’s an excellent exfoliant for sensitive skin, dry skin, oily skin, acne-prone skin, and combination skin. CeraVe’s skincare products containing lactic acid do everything from helping to smooth fine lines, improving skin’s natural turnover, and removing dead skin cells to help to soften and smooth skin. Three essential ceramides are also featured in all CeraVe products to lock in moisture and help restore your skin’s protective barrier.


Find the answers to some frequently asked questions about lactic acid below.

  • Lactic acid is a mild alpha-hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates skin and helps lock in moisture. By promoting skin cell turnover, it helps improve skin’s appearance and texture, which makes it a valuable tool for anti-aging, acne, and rough and bumpy skin. You’ll find lactic acid paired with glycolic acid in our Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment, which provides gentle exfoliation to help smooth fine lines, accelerate surface cell renewal, and clear away dead skin cells—without causing flaking or redness.

  • CeraVe’s lactic acid products are gentle enough to be used every day. No matter what skin type you have, we have lactic acid skincare that’s right for you.


  • Yes. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) affirms the cosmetic skincare benefits of alpha-hydroxy acids such as lactic acid.1

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