Lactic Acid Is My New Skin Hero With Philosophy, Dermalogica, and Kate Somerville

I think my skin’s dislike of glycolic acid is well documented on ze blog here. It’s just an ingredient that doesn’t work for me. Mind you though, it did at some point? When I was in my 30s it did work well for me. But now as I age? No way can do thank you very muchly. It just irritates my skin and breaks me out like crazy. But, I WANT to be able to use something to exfoliate my skin chemically because dude-it’s just the easiest way. Not that I’ll give up my manual exfoliator though-but I find I kind of need both to keep my skin clean and clear.

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Lactic Acid Party!


So, I started looking into products with Lactic Acid. Lactic Acid is of course derived from milk, and our bodies make it as well. That means there’s less chance being allergic to it, and therefore it’s a good option for people like me with sensitive skin. And it’s especially good for those of us with..ahem..mature skin. Lactic Acid will exfoliate, deep clean them pores, improve hyperpigemntation and even out skin tone, take care of any fine lines, and even stimulate natural collagen production. Sign me up!

Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Lactic Acid Cleanser And Mask($45)

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Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Lactic Acid Cleanser And Mask($45)

I first heard about the Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Lactic Acid Cleanser And Mask from Liz@Reductionista awhile ago, and filed it in the skincare section of my beauty mind palace 😛 I remember being intrigued but of course, it’s a cleanser and I was am up to my knees in cleansers. But when I started looking for products with lactic acid, this one kept coming up in my searches, and after asking Liz if she still liked it, I picked one up at The Bay.

I like it too! It’s a nice creamy cleanser that’s got the added benefit of being able to be used as a mask! And that’s how I mainly use it. After my workouts, I apply about 2-3 pumps all over my face and let it sit for about 3-5 minutes. Well, until I feel a tingle. That’s when I know the magic is happening. Then I hop into the shower and rinse it all off. I think it’s a great, first-step into lactic acid exfoliation, especially for us older chicks. It doeesn’t dry out skin, and even brightens it up a bit. Right now, I use it about 3 times a week, but you can use it every day if you like. It’s not a cleanser to remove makeup though. This is a great second cleanser to have, or to use AFTER you’ve removed your makeup with a cleansing oil or a wipe.

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant($52)

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Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant($52)

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant is the next step up in using lactic acid to exfoliate. I use this one once a week to really deep clean and exfoliate my skin. I leave it on for about 10 minutes and Bazinga! Smooth, brighter, more even skin is mine! This is probably the most gentle exfoliating mask I’ve tried, so it’s perfect for sensitive skins like mine. It does a great job at keeping any dry, flaky skin at bay as well, which is what I’m pretty sure clogs up my pores causing breakouts. It doesn’t make my skin drier either, so YAY for that.

Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel ($108)

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Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel ($108)

When I had that god-awful breakout in California last week, I of course walked into Sephora at Downtown Disneyland to get SOMETHING to help me. I already mentioned the Murad products that helped, but I also got a sample of the Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel after talking with a nice SA about mature skin and breakouts. She said this was amazing for older chicks with skin that still think it’s 20 and breaks out when environment or life changes(hello menopause) happens. After trying the sample, I decided to use my #EpicRewardsFail $50 coupon to get a full-size, because after one use I fell in love.

Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel is a leave on at night baby peel that combines retinol, glycolic and lactic acid to resurface skin. And even though glycolic acid is an ingredient, my skin seems to tolerate it in this combo for some strange reason. You can use it every other night, but the SA told me to just keep it to once a week, and I agree. For me, once a week is enough, but if you have more resilient skin than me(WHO DOESN’T) then go to town and use it as recommended. Over night my skin looked smoother and it helped my breakouts look SO much better as well. And since I’ve been home and the breakout is gone, it’s taken care of any scars toot sweet. NICE. The only thing I dislike about it is the SMELL. It smells like a wet washcloth on my face. It sort of goes away and you get used to it? But yeah, it’s not a nice smell at all so try a sample first and see if you can stomach the scent. The results are worth the stench I swear!

Happy Friday All! I hope your week was good! Mine was ok! Trying to get back in the swing of things here, but it’s been hard. My MS legs are having a hard time getting better and rested up, so I haven’t really done much this week to be honest. I hope I’m better this weekend…I want to start purging STUFF and doing something productive around here. Wish me luck!

What’s an ingredient that’s made a difference in your skin lately? 


  • Liz

    Yay! Glad you like the Philosophy! I never once felt a tingle with that but did like how my face felt afterwards. Agree it’s a good second cleanser.

    And you had me on Kate Somerville until the wet dishcloth smell. Ew, no. LOL

    • I do thanks! It tingles for me hahaha-your skin is TOUGH lol!
      Yeah, the smell is weird…but I tolerate it. It does go away hahaha!

  • I hope you feel better soon! I’m only just cottoning on to the whole chemical exfoliation thing, and am actually looking for a good glycol acid cleanser. I had a couple of samples of the gentle cream exfoliant and it didn’t do much for me.

  • Hey Tracy, oh I hope you’ll feel better soon!

    Thanks so much for the post! My skin doesn’t get along with many products that contain AHAs, but I think in my case it’s more about how gentle the formula is rather than which specific AHA is used. I so want to try some Kate Somerville stuff and this peel sounds great. However, if possible I’d like to get a sample first, because sometimes even tho a product works well, the smell does get to me and I just don’t reach for it!

    • I do thanks! FINALLY! Took so long!

      Yeah, the smell is something that surprised me for sure. Do get a sample and see if you can take it!

  • My skin is much the same, Tracy- glycolic irritates and breaks me out, but lactic is a winner! The Gentle Cream Exfoliant is one of my favourite masks ever and I may have to snag a sample of the Kate Somerville peel.

    Sending all the good, healthy vibes to you this weekend!

    • Thanks love! It helped! I feel so much more like myself finally!
      Yeah, it’s weird how certain ingredients just don’t work for some of us! It’s good that you know this already!

  • I think it’s both cool and annoying that our skin changes over time. anything milk related skin products broke me out like crazy years ago, but now it doesn’t! I totally hope you feel better soon!

    • Thanks I’m feeling better now this weekend finally! Took forever! And right? It’s weird how our skin changes so much as we age!

  • I hear you! glycolic acid works for me but it is hard to bear the stinging sensation that I have to breathe deep. I have no patience for that. ;-/ As you showcased here, there are mandellic and lactic acids avail and they are as effective.
    I’m liking some Vitamin C for my skin lately. 🙂

  • Hope you feel better soon, Tracy! I seem to be okay with glycolic or lactic acids in gentle formulas, but sometimes I can’t take the stinging, LOL. Weenie over here!

    Also, wet washcloth smell? Uh uh.

    • Thanks my friend! I am feeling better this weekend finally! Took FOREVER this time! I think the heat really did me in.

      Haha yeah, the smell is hard to take, but vid me it’s worth it!

  • Yay! I hope it works for you too!

  • Glycolic acid is quite harsh if you’ve got sensitive skin, plus lactic acid improves hydration levels on top of being more gentle. That Dermalogica mask was the FIRST lactic acid I tried, it was my gateway into that stuff 😀 I remember leaving that mask on for 15-30 min once a week for a complete skin reset. Follow up with a good repair serum like EL ANR2 or something that doesn’t irritate at all. Brilliant!

  • Lily

    Oh thanks for sharing, Tracy! I remember Lisa Eldridge talking about the Dermalogica one and I meant to get it. This post just reminded me. I still use my Clarisonic and Clinique sonic cleanser once in a while, but these chemical peels might be a good alternative too 🙂

  • Hey Tracy! I was just looking into the Kate Somerville Micro Peel and it’s smell and found your review! Lol I just bought one and it smells pretty bad. I didn’t know if it was an expired product that I received from Sephora or not. I guess I would describe it similar to how you have. It smells like something gone bad like a wet, moldy towel that desperately needs to be washed. I notice the smell for quite some time though and it’s pretty hard for me to ignore. I’m thinking of calling their number on the box about it? I don’t know how I can get used to it lol

    • LOL hahaha yeah, it smells pretty bad like I said. But for me it’s just a wet washcloth smell and it kind of goes away or I get used to it after a bit. You could try and phone and see what they say-maybe they’ll send you another one. Mine didn’t smell moldy so maybe it has gone bad?

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