The effects of topical l(+) lactic Acid and ascorbic Acid on skin whitening

Int J Cosmet Sci. 1999 Feb;21(1):33-40. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.1999.196561.x.


Subjects with medium to dark skin and many exhibiting facial age spots or discolorations participated in this twelve week study to evaluate the skin whitening ability of lactic and ascorbic acid. Using clinical and biophysical test methods we observed prolonged treatment with 8.8% L(+) lactic acid resulted in no significant effects on skin pigmentation. However treatment with L(+) lactic acid supplemented with ascorbic acid (1%) did produce a whitening effect which becomes apparent after three months. These effects were demonstrated clinically by the test panelists, and trained clinicians, and with objective instrumental methods. We observed a general skin lightening and did see a modest preferential lightening of age spots with the combination of acids.