Lactic Acid and Lactates in base formulations
new trends and active compounds will always play an important role
in the cosmetics industry, a good base formulation always
constitutes the crucial starting point. L(+)-lactic acid and
lactates can help the formulator achieve this goal. The main
functionalities involved in skin
care and toiletries
& bodywash formulations are pH-regulation and excellent
The table below provides an overview
of the most important applications with the preferred products and
||pH regulator, bacteriostatic agent
salt of L(+)-lactic acid
|| Moisturizer, bacteriostatic
regulator, bacteriostatic agent
of L(+)-lactic acid
of L(+)-lactic acid
Additional lactate functionalities include: humectancy, bacteriostatic, increasing ceramide level.
These many functionalities enable the formulator to produce base formulations in a cost-effective way. The proven multi-functionality of L(+)-lactic acid and lactates makes them ideal for use in the base formulations of a wide range of cosmetics products.
Natural Ingredients for skin care
- pH Regulation
In the 1970s, J.D. Middleton studied the moisturizing properties of lactates. Even then the use of lactates in creams was found to be very effective in the treatment of dry hands. In a recent study, 5% PURASAL S was compared with 5% glycerin in a body lotion. The product was applied twice daily on the lower leg for two weeks. Both the short-term and the long-term moisturizing can be seen from the graphs.
Natural ingredients for toiletries & bodywash
- pH regulation
The effectiveness of lactates as moisturizers in rinse-off products is not commonly known. The effects are clearly shown in clinical tests with a base cleanser in which different levels of sodium lactate were used
This cleanser was applied on the face and rinsed off with water after 30 seconds. In time, the hydration of the skin was measured. This test clearly shows that adding 3-5% PURASAL S/60 increased skin moisturization for up to 4 hours after use.
Another clinical test (same set-up) was performed to compare commonly used moisturizers with lactates. Frequently used moisturizers are glycerin, sorbitol and sodium-PCA. The test proved both that sodium and calcium lactate are comparable to glycerin and are better than sorbitol and sodium-PCA.
Natural ingredients for hair care
Most hair care products contain small amounts of acids, some of them organic, in order to adjust the pH of the formulation.
Using L(+)-lactic acid for this purpose also improves the total performance of the end product. In a salon test the effect of L(+)-lactic acid (0.5%) was compared with that of citric acid as the pH-regulator in a shampoo:
The results of this test clearly show that an addition of only 0.5% L(+)-lactic acid results in a shampoo that gives the hair:
- more body
- improved manageability
- better wet feel and good dry feel
The results of rinsing, volume and combing tests show that shampoos containing both citric and lactic acid perform in a similar way. Lactates also possess good moisturizing properties in rinse-off products. In the case of hair care products this can help in preventing scalp dryness, thereby reducing the occurrence of dry dandruff.
More info on pH regulation