Citric Acid

Citric Acid


  • CAS number: 77-92-9 / 5949-29-1
  • Origin(s):¬†Natural,¬†Synthetic
  • EINECS/ELINCS number:¬†201-069-1

Quick facts

  • Derived from citrus fruits and some berries and is an Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)

  • Can gently exfoliate the skin, lighting away the build-up of dead skin cells

  • Known for restoring balance to the skin with its pH buffering benefits

  • Can improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation from sun damage

Who can use it?

All skin types will benefit from this ingredient in their skincare routine, those with sensitive skin should consult a doctor to prevent skin irritation.

What is citric acid?

Citric acid is a member of the AHA family, a collection of chemical exfoliants that slough away the layer of dead skin cells that build-up on the surface of the skin. Your skin is left smoother with a radiant glow, with the added benefit of citric acid working as a buffering ingredient to balance the pH levels in the other skincare formulations as well as helping them penetrate pass the epidermis more effectively. As potent as citric acid is, there have been some research demonstrating that glycolic or lactic acid have better exfoliating results meaning citric acid is more beneficial at adjusting pH levels in product formulations.

Side effects of citric acid

Some minor signs of irritation and redness, especially if you have a more sensitive skin type.

Scientific evidence of citric acid

  • Dermatologic Surgery, Volume 23 (8) ‚Äď Aug 1, 1997, Citric Acid Increases Viable Epidermal Thickness and Glycosaminoglycan Content of Sundamaged Skin
  • Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 34, Issue 2, Part 1, , February 1996, Pages 187‚Äď195, Effects of őĪ-hydroxy acids on photoaged skin: Apilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, , Volume 18 (2) ‚Äď Apr 1, 1996, Comparative effectiveness of őĪ‚Äźhydroxy acids on skin properties


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