Review – Amlactin Triple Action Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Foot Cream

This was another product that I hadn’t initially planned on buying. I had selected a different foot cream when I placed a big order from Korea and then immediately received notice that the cream I wanted was out of stock. I wanted to find a substitute quickly (and didn’t want it to take 5 months to arrive (that’s not an exaggeration, I’ve had products take 5 months to arrive)), so I went to Amazon to see what I could find. Being not all that interested in researching foot creams in the first place, I only did a cursory bit of browsing before I came upon a foot cream by AmLactin.

The only thing I’ve known about this brand is that they are one of the few that produce body products with AHAs in them. This foot cream is one of them. I favor using peels instead of something like a pumice stone on my feet, so I thought an AHA foot lotion would be a fantastic way to keep my feet in shape in between those intense biannual peels.

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Full Disclosure: This review contains no affiliate links, and the product was purchased by me. All opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal use and testing of the product.

What is it?

AmLactin Triple Action Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Foot Cream is an exfoliating foot cream designed to heal, repair, and soften cracked and calloused foot skin. It can be applied to feet 1-2 times daily. AHAs are photosensitizing, so make sure to protect your skin from the sun while using this cream

  • Size: 85g
  • Price: $11.73 CAD including shipping from Amazon.com
  • pH: ~4.5
  • Texture: Thick and pasty white cream
  • Scent: Burning plastic
  • Packaging: Squeeze tube with flip-top cap

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Ingredients and pH

Water, Ammonium Lactate, Sodium Lactate, Potassium Lactate, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Emulsifying Wax, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Xantham Gum, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

CosDNA analysis. Stearic acid [2] is the only flag for comedogenicity.

So you might notice that there’s nothing in the ingredients list that says ‘lactic acid’. There are however 3 ingredients containing the word ‘lactate’. Ammonium lactate, sodium lactate, and potassium lactate are different salts of lactic acid that are formed by partially neutralizing the acid. These are what’s being referred to in the ‘Triple Action’ part of the product name (also dubbed ULTRAPLEX®). Acid salts can have an acidic pH, and have been used as exfoliating agents in cosmetics. What these salts have been noted for in particular is their use as humectant ingredients. Ammonium lactate specifically has been shown to be effective in the treatment of dry skin.

It’s unclear to me whether or not these lactic acid salts require a low pH in order to exfoliate like lactic acid does. I tested the pH anyway and it came out to ~4.5, which is an appropriate pH for a standard lactic acid product. As far as I’ve been able to find, salts like ammonium lactate work similarly to lactic acid, so if they do need the low pH to function, then this cream is formulated at the right pH to achieve skin exfoliation.

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Experience

There’s nothing spectacular about the packaging here. It a standard tube with a very typical western drugstore clinical aesthetic. The cream itself is very thick, and I find I have to really work it into my feet to get it to absorb, otherwise it just settles in between the ridges in my footprints. The picture below shows how the cream seems to just spread overtop of the skin.

The cream doesn’t have any added fragrance, but it smells SO BAD. Like burning plastic. I’ve had such a hard time with using this because so often I can’t bring myself to put it on. It’s just gross. I don’t want a joyless, low energy, ‘let’s get it over with’ experience with foot cream when it’s already super boring and annoying to be moisturizing my feet. Feet are sweaty and touch all the gross crap on my floor that builds up because I don’t sweep enough. If I have to sit and massage cream into them for 5 mins, can it please just be even a little bit pleasant to use?

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Results

When I can manage to bring myself to use this on any semblance of a regular basis, this cream does indeed function well. The skin on my heels is much more soft and hydrated, and the dry, scaly patches are very much reduced, if not gone entirely. This doesn’t provide the type of strong chemical exfoliation in the form of a peel, and it won’t give you the same physical filing-down like a pumice stone would, so this will be less effective if you have really thick calluses or extremely cracked heels. For my foot situation, however, it works just fine as a between-peel maintenance.

All of that would be fantastic if I could actually enjoy using this cream. It’s insanely thick and pasty, and therefore takes a loooong time and quite a bit of rubbing to sink in. Coupled with the burning plastic smell, the experience of using it goes far beyond feeling like a chore. I actively dislike taking the time to put this stuff on. It feels gross. It doesn’t feel like I’m pampering my feet, it feels like I’m begrudgingly putting myself through the effort with much grumbling and frowny faces. If I can’t manage to use this product enough to actually get the benefit, then it doesn’t matter how effective it is because it’s  net effectiveness most of the time ends up being zero.

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Would I Repurchase?

Unsurprisingly, no. I don’t like this cream. I’m not sure I’m ever in my life going to finish up even this tiny tube. In the unlikely event that I do, I will bitterly bid it goodbye and be thankful I don’t have to keep looking at it on my bathroom counter.

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