Why we use Lactic Acid in our products

Fragrance is a very personal thing. It can evoke memories, change your mood, it can even make you hungry and a single perfume can smell unique on each of us – why is that?

Our noses can identify millions of different smells from more than 130 different odour molecules out there in the world.  It is a very powerful and under-appreciated sense!  Smell is processed in the olfactory bulb in the brain which sorts sensation into perception – so it is linked to the parts of the brain that process emotion, mood and memory as well as smell.

So why do perfumes smell differently on people and some people love the smell of blackcurrent or musk and others hate them?

  • Is it to do with how you smell and how your nose works?
  • Is it to do with your skin type – normal, oily, dry etc
  • Is it to do with your skin ph level?

It is all these things and more.  We’ve talked about how our brain processes smells, and each of us will have our own aroma directory of everything we’ve come across in our lives.  Add this to different skin types, not just oily, dry, normal but also the water, fats, acids, salts, sugars, proteins, fibres and hairs that make up our skin.  Each component will bind the perfume chemicals differently and release it differently.

Women have a stronger sense of smell than men – with 50% more olfactory sensors – and everyone has their own unique smell-print – like a thumb print but to do with our sniffing ability!  Many people can’t smell certain smells and others – mostly young people – prefer a sweeter scent – thus the ever present scent of vanilla in youth products.

When we created our signature scent for AMELIORATE, checking our customers loved it was very important to us – in our consumer tests 100% of users liked the smell of our Nourishing Body Wash – our signature fragrance combined with Omega Oils sourced from flowers.

Our signature scent includes Orange oil, Cedarwood and Geranium and a few other secret ingredients – a subtle, comforting and caring fragrance.

However, when we were experimenting with different formulas for our cult body lotion, we soon realised the fragrance had altered.  The optimum levels of Lactic Acid needed to help ‘chicken skin’ had its own strong scent – and the more lactic acid we used to manage the bumps, the stronger it was.

We did our utmost to camouflage it – we even sent it over to a fragrance house in France for help.  But we know from feedback that for some, lactic acid is the ‘marmite’ of the skincare world – you either love it or hate it!

The importance of Lactic Acid

So why do we use Lactic Acid when other Alpha Hydroxy Acids eg Glycolic, exfoliate the skin too and don’t have such a defining smell?  Well Lactic Acid not only exfoliates but is a humectant too, which means it pulls water to the skin which helps keep it moisturised. In our opinion, the other AHAs can dry the skin and with a condition like Keratosis Pilaris, that would just make matters worse.

When we created our Transforming Body Lotion our aim was to get rid of our founder’s ‘chicken skin’ – remove the bumps and leave her skin beautifully soft and smooth.  That took a double approach – a lotion that exfoliated and renewed the skin and also left it beautifully moisturised.  We all know that you can’t cure Keratosis Pilaris, but you can manage it and our Transforming Body Lotion, used daily, is the only UK product to do just that.

If you love the results, but not the smell, focus on the fact that in many scent experiments, it was discovered that smelling a fragrance you know and perceive as positive can make you happy – what could improve a KP person’s mood more than soft, smooth skin?! Maybe you could train your olfactory sensors to accept Lactic Acid as a ‘happy’ smell!

The good news is your sense of smell gets bored quickly, which is why when you enter a bakery the smell is delicious for a few minutes and then normalises.  The same with perfume – the receptors in your nose soon switch off and the smell fades because your brain has perceived the scent as ‘non-threatening’ and so has no need to pay attention to it.  Many of our customers agree that the Lactic Acid smell fades quickly and they’re left with the calming, comforting original fragrance.

So, for all of you with KP, we hope you agree, first and foremost we want a product that works.  That will remove those bumps.  That will leave skin moisturised, soft, smooth and healthy looking.

Our consumer trials on our Transforming Body Lotion revealed that:

  • 87% of users agree their KP was improved and their skin was softer
  • 94% agree their skin was smoother
  • 97% agree their skin was moisturised

Pretty impressive we think! So, for those reasons, we love Lactic Acid, its amazing results and its ‘happy’ smell!

Kate Cowan

Kate Cowan

Writer and expert