Citric Acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) found naturally in citrus fruits but often lab-produced for cosmetic use, serves multiple functions in skincare and cosmetic products:

  • pH Adjuster: It balances the pH of products to prevent them from being too alkaline, which is crucial for maintaining the skin's natural barrier, also known as the acid mantle.
  • Exfoliant: As an AHA, Citric Acid aids in exfoliating the top layers of skin, promoting the removal of dead skin cells to reveal fresher, smoother skin underneath. This can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin discoloration.
  • Preservative: Its ability to bind to metals enables Citric Acid to act as a preservative, preventing cosmetic formulas from becoming rancid or developing an unpleasant smell.
  • Antioxidant: Citric Acid has antioxidant properties, helping to protect the skin from free radical damage, which can contribute to premature aging.
Citric Acid is generally safe for use in cosmetics and skincare products. However, like all AHAs, it can increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun, making sun protection crucial when using products containing Citric Acid. In some individuals, particularly those with sensitive skin, Citric Acid may cause mild irritation or a tingling sensation. As always, doing a patch test when trying a new product is recommended.

Citric Acid can be found in a wide range of cosmetic and skincare products, including cleansers, moisturizers, exfoliants, toners, hair care products, makeup, and bath products. Always check the ingredients list if you're looking to determine whether a specific product contains Citric Acid or any other ingredient.

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