Lactic Acid (sodium lactate) — (see also Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)) an alpha hydroxy acid, an exfoliating agent. It can help normalize epidermal structure, and stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin. Lactic acid is a component of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor, and has better water intake than glycerin. Studies indicate an ability to increase the water-retention capacity of the stratum corneum. They also show that the pliability of the stratum corneum layer is closely related to the absorption of lactic acid; the greater the amount of absorbed lactic acid, the more pliable the stratum corneum layer. Researchers report that continuous use of preparations formulated with lactic acid in concentrations ranging between 5 and 12 percent provided a mild to moderate improvement in fine wrinkling and promote softer, smoother skin.