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Lactobionic acid: What it is and what it does

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Lactobionic acid: What it is and what it does

Lactobionic acid is an exfoliant under the polyhydroxy acid (PHA for short) umbrella. While chemically similar to AHA, lactobionic acid has a larger molecular structure, which means it doesn’t penetrate the skin as deeply. This results in a gentler exfoliation with less risk of causing irritation, making it a great alternative for sensitive skin. Other benefits of this antioxidant-rich acid include its ability to protect skin from environmental stressors and its ability to help reduce redness and unevenness in skin tone. Lactobionic acid is also a powerful humectant, helping to draw and lock in moisture in the skin. What’s not to love?

A short guide to acids

There are several types of acids often used in skincare to provide exfoliation. These include AHA, BHA and PHA. Here is how they differ and which suits your skin best.

AHA: Similar to lactobionic acid, AHA has a smaller molecular structure which allows it to penetrate deeper into the skin and slough off dead, dull skin cells and fade dark spots. It is very hydrating, making it the most suitable acid for normal to dry skin. Common AHAs include glycolic, lactic and mandelic acid. 

BHA: There is one main BHA, salicylic acid, and the terms are used interchangeably. In contrast to AHA, BHA is oil-soluble, making it the ideal acid for those with oily, congested or acne-prone skin. Its ability to minimise the appearance of blackheads and clear pores has made it a popular choice for those with enlarged pores. 

PHA: While similar to AHA, PHA has a larger molecular structure, making it a more gentle exfoliant and therefore more suitable for sensitive skin. Being a humectant, it also provides a hydrating and plumping effect on the skin. Common PHAs include galactose and lactobionic acid.

Acids in MANTLE formulas

Never wanting to compromise the skin barrier our products are formulated to deliver results, without being harsh. In our clarifying matcha mask, The Green Mask we have incorporated 2% BHA to help unclog pores and decongest the skin while delivering radiance. Our multi-depth hydration fluid, The Shroom Essence, features PHA to provide an ultra-gentle exfoliation, hydration and a plumping effect on the skin. In The Miracle Mask, we have combined lactobionic acid with mandelic acid, to create a formula that effectively and instantly lifts dead skin cells without causing any irritation.

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