Lactobionic acid (4-O-β-galactopyranosyl-D-gluconic acid) belongs to polyhydroxy acids. Formed by oxidation of milk sugar (a disaccharide named lactose), it consists of gluconic acid and galactose bonded via an ether linkage.
Lactobionic acid has not been used in cosmetology until recently. The lactobionic acid belongs to next generation chemical peels. It has an integrated effect on skin and is suitable for patients from different age groups. Thanks to minimal irritative effect, it can be successfully performed even on sensitive skin that is prone to acne.
Polyhydroxy acids penetrate the skin gradually, layer by layer. Due to this fact, their use in peel treatments does not cause strong burning sensation and irritation of skin.
Indications for lactobionic acid:
- skin aging;
- premature aging;
- reduced skin elasticity;
- skin predisposed toward allergies;
- wrinkles – both fine lines, and age-related deep wrinkles;
- down turning mouth, sagging face;
- scars and ingrown hairs;
- photo ageing.
Contraindications for lactobionic acid:
- Skin disorders in acute inflammatory phase;
- Pregnancy (any trimester), lactation;
- Epilepsy, mental disorders;
- Allergy to any of the peel components;
- Active herpes infection;
- Pustules on skin containing purulonecrotic material.
- Pregnancy and lactation
- Sunburned skin
Chemical peels should be performed in a cosmetology licensed space and only by experienced and skilled professionals. Violation of any hygiene or safety rules may lead to severe skin burns, unmanageable allergies, scarring, and hyperpigmentation.
Diabetes, HIV are relative contraindications for this kind of treatment; possibility of a chemical peel should be considered on a strictly individual basis. In some cases, such cosmetological treatments are prohibited due to pathologically low level of immunity and bad skin regeneration.
In case of herpes infection, no matter active or not, one should receive preventive treatment before a peel. People who have been taking isotretinoin should wait six months after the last use of a drug, because such medications slow down lymph circulation and disrupt blood flow, which may decelerate cell regeneration in a post-peel period.
In patients with psoriasis, chemical peels may cause exacerbation of pre-existing disease and wider spread of psoriatic plaques on skin.
Properties of Lactobionic Acid:
- Regeneration. Lactobionic acid includes galactose, which is famous for its wound-healing properties. The acid allows for repair of damaged skin structures and faster regeneration. Thanks to its unique ability to stimulate wound healing, it can be used successfully on skin that is prone to acne and inflammation.
- Gradual skin penetration. Lactobionic acid has considerable molecular mass and consists of relatively big molecules. As a result, it penetrates skin gradually, layer by layer, which is less damaging than peels performed with glycolic or lactic acids. Thanks to gradual penetration, lactobionic acid does not cause severe burning sensation during the treatment or complications after the peel.
- High biocompatibility with human skin. Skin easily adjusts to the lactobionic acid; when all stages of the chemical peel are performed properly, no severe flaking, itching, or hyperemia occur.
- Anti-photoaging activity. Lactobionic acid inhibits matrix metalloproteinases, which are the main cause of skin aging. They destroy the major components of the extracellular matrix of the skin, collagen in particular, causing elasticity loss, deep wrinkles and a sagging face. Metalloproteinases are responsible for skin aging process and the development of telangiectasias – oblong red areas on the face. Their activity is stimulated by long-term exposure to sunlight and leads to rapid photo ageing.
- Antioxidant properties. Lactobionic acid can function as a link between iron ions, providing strong antioxidant effect. It removes free radical intermediates and protects skin from dangerous UV radiation.
- Deep moisturizing. Lactobionic acid helps to moisturize skin. It is capable of adsorbing water and trapping it inside the skin even when the skin is exposed to adverse weather conditions, i.e. increasingly dry air, for a long period of time. Lactobionic acid creates a water film on the surface of skin, which helps to tackle signs of skin dryness, itching, and tightness for a long time.
- Peeling action. Lactobionic acid activates renewal of cell structures, allows for deep cleansing and gentle removal of dead cells, and particles of dust and dirt that cause clogged pores.
- Capable of being used at any time of the year. Both mandelic and lactobionic acids effectively protect skin from UV radiation. Thanks to this fact, peel treatments can be performed in any season, even in summer, without fear of developing unexpected side effects, like freckles or pigment spots.
- Rejuvenation, improved skin firmness. The skin is rejuvenated thanks to the acid’s ability to increase collagen production and slow down photoaging.
Advantages of lactobionic acid:
- Dead skin cells are removed gently, causing no skin irritation. There are fewer signs of facial skin irritation and acne after the lactobionic acid peels.
- Skin becomes smoother. Thanks to its ability to cleanse skin, normalize metabolic processes, affect fibroblasts, and increase collagen production, this kind of peel helps to rejuvenate and lift skin and removes even deep wrinkles.
- Hyperpigmentation is reduced. The lactobionic acid peel removes dead skin cells, stimulates exfoliation process, and lightens skin, making pigment spots less visible.
- Increase in skin hydration. Thanks to the acid’s ability to trap moisture in skin, lactobionic acid peels are popular in countries with dry, hot climate, and can be successfully used on extremely dry skin.
- Brief recovery period. Lactobionic acid peels damage skin only slightly. One can get back to normal lifestyle and start going out almost immediately after the peel treatment.
- Acne is reduced. Thanks to deep cleansing combined with smoothing and anti-inflammatory properties, this kind of chemical peel helps to reduce the amount of pimples and blackheads.
The lactobionic acid peel destroys skin cells at different depths, which leads to faster collagen production and cell renewal. Naturally, the treatment damages skin to some extent, but it also significantly stimulates formation of new cells, making skin younger and firmer. The chemical components of the acid restore epidermal barrier; epidermis once again becomes capable of trapping moisture.
The lactobionic acid peel treatment requires special skin preparation, which usually helps to prevent any serious post-peel side effects.