ALL ABOUT CITRIC ACID IN COSMETICS & PERSONAL CARE ALL ABOUT CITRIC ACID IN COSMETICS & PERSONAL CARE


ALL ABOUT CITRIC ACID IN COSMETICS & PERSONAL CARE

September 22, 2020    
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IN ESSENCE...

  • Citric Acid is a natural organic acid present abundantly in citrus fruits such as limes and lemons. It is also a raw material manufactured specifically for industrial purposes and used in a wide variety of products, including food and beverages, pharmaceutical preparations, detergents, bath products, skincare, haircare, and many other cosmetics.

  • Due to its diverse benefits, Citric Acid is popular in natural formulations: it can act as a pH adjuster and corrector, enhance the stability and shelf-life of products, contribute to the optimal performance of various actives, and also produce bubbles (fizzing) in desired bath or spa products.

  • Citric Acid also has known skincare benefits. It belongs to the AHA family of acids, which supports skin exfoliation to reveal a fresh and firmer complexion. It is also an antioxidant used in anti-aging applications.


 

WHAT IS CITRIC ACID RAW MATERIAL?

 

Citric Acid is a naturally-occurring compound found especially in citrus fruits such as lime, lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. It is produced commercially for specific industrial applications within the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical sectors. Intriguingly, this weak acid also happens to play a key role in the metabolism of practically all living beings; it is the first compound created in a series of complicated reactions within our cells used to generate energy.

As a widely used raw material, Citric Acid is present in many commonly used products across various industries and sectors. Added to food products and beverages such as carbonated drinks, for example, it can function as a preservative, pH regulator, stabilizer, and an acidulant, boosting flavor profiles with its characteristic sharp, sour taste. In pharmaceuticals, Citric Acid can act as an anticoagulant and chelating agent; its salts bind to calcium ions, a key component of the blood clotting process, thereby preventing the formation of clots. In cosmetics and personal care, Citric Acid serves as an affordable cosmetic ingredient frequently used to make bath bombs and to reduce the pH of formulations.

NDA's Citric Acid (Anhydrous USP/FCC) Raw Material is a high-quality, fine crystalline powder derived through the fermentation of corn and sugar beets. It complies with the monograph standards of the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) and FCC (Food Chemical Codex). It is also GMO-free.



 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CITRIC ACID?

 

Citric Acid Raw Material is a highly versatile product that can perform many functions within cosmetics. The fine, uniform consistency of this powder affords seamless dissolving in water and effortless mixing with other bath bomb ingredients for a high-quality product. Its multi-purpose nature is especially valuable in all-natural formulations as well.

Citric Acid helps with pH adjustment

The pH level of skincare formulations is an extremely vital factor deciding both quality and safety. An ideal pH enables products to become more safe, pleasant, and less irritating to use. In addition, the performance of some actives, colorants, thickeners, and other ingredients can also be dependent on the pH level; deviations can result in undesired outcomes such as discoloration, changes in viscosity, and poor product performance. If the formula ends up becoming too alkaline, Citric Acid can be added to lower the pH to a desired level.

Citric Acid contributes to product stability and life-span

By helping to stabilize the pH of formulations, Citric Acid can boost the longevity of cosmetic products. The pH can be a critical factor affecting how some preservatives work, and so its use ensures optimal stability for a safe-to-use product. Citric Acid is also known to have chelating properties; it binds (sequesters) to trace metal ions and thereby boosts the efficacy of added preservatives and antioxidants. This chelating action in useful in soap products as it binds to metal ions in water to help prevent rancidity and the creation of soap scum.

Citric Acid delivers skin cleansing and anti-aging benefits

In skincare, Citric Acid acts primarily as an exfoliant and an antioxidant. It is an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) and can be used in exfoliating formulations to help remove dead skin cells and dirt to reveal fresh, softer, smoother skin. AHAs are commonly used in cosmetic chemical peels and acne therapies for this reason. They can also reduce the appearance of scars, spots, and other pigmentation issues, thereby improving one's complexion. As a protective antioxidant, Citric Acid protects the skin against the effects of free radical damage and also contributes to the toning and firming of the skin.

Citric Acid is often used in shampoo formulations to bring the pH levels down, which improves the hair's appearance and manageability by reducing frizz. It can also be used in rinses to help lift or fade colors out of the hair.

Citric Acid helps produce effervescence (fizzing) in bath bombs

Fizzing reactions are used in cosmetics to create delightful, spa-like experiences with bath bombs and other bath fizzes. By far, the most popular acidic ingredient incorporated in bath bombs is Citric Acid. When such products are dropped into bathwater, the acid reacts with Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) to release bubbles of carbon dioxide, which is observable as effervescence (fizzing).



 

HOW TO USE CITRIC ACID IN FORMULATIONS?

 

Citric Acid can be added to creams, lotions, serums, cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, bath products, and many other cosmetics.

To adjust pH:

A Citric Acid solution (50%) can be made by weighing an equal amount of Distilled Water and Citric Acid Raw Material. Gently add the Citric Acid into the water and stir well to mix. This solution can be stored in the desired container and used as needed; ensure the mixture is at room temperature before using. Add the solution drop by drop, mixing and closely monitoring the pH change until it reaches the desired level.

To make bath bombs:

Simply add the Citric Acid in its dry state along with the rest of your dry ingredients to create the bath bomb mixture and shape using the desired mold. The ratio of Citric Acid and Baking Soda used is typically 1:2. We have an in-depth guide on making your own DIY bath bombs here.



 

CITRIC ACID USES & APPLICATIONS

 

Citric Acid helps formulators elevate the performance, stability, and end experience of cosmetic products. It is soluble in water and therefore can be added to potentially any cosmetic that incorporates water; it cannot be used in anhydrous products such as body butters.

PRODUCT TYPE & FUNCTION EFFECTS

When added to these kinds of formultions...

Creams, lotions, serums, gels, cleansers, toners, shampoos, conditioners

Citric Acid functions as a(n):

  • pH adjuster
  • Antioxidant
  • Stabilizer
  • Exfoliant
  • Chelating agent

It helps to:

  • Decrease the pH level to reflect the skin's natural acid mantle, helping to reduce potential irritations and prevent disruption to the natural barrier.
  • Enhance or optimize the actions of preservatives and antioxidants, thereby prolonging the shelf-life of products.
  • Stabilize or optimize the function of various actives, colorants, and thickeners, contributing to the overall performance of products.
  • Assist with skin exfoliation, renewal, and brightening.
  • Assist in hair manageability and reduces frizzing.
  • Assist with protection against free radical damage.

The recommended maximum dosage is 0.5%.

When added to these kinds of formultions...

Soap products and detergents

Citric Acid functions as a(n):

  • Chelating agent
  • Antioxidant
  • Exfoliant

It helps to:

  • Reduce the rate of oxidation leading to issues of discoloration such as 'Dreaded Orange Spots'.
  • Boost the soap's lathering and cleaning properties.
  • Extend the soap's shelf life.

The recommended maximum dosage is 1%.

When added to these kinds of formultions...

Bath bombs, bath fizzies, and bath salts

Citric Acid functions as a(n):

  • Acidic reagent
  • Antioxidant
  • Exfoliant

It helps to:

  • React with Baking Soda to create fizzing and elevate the experience of bath products.
  • Assist with skin exfoliation, renewal, and brightening
  • Assist with protection against free radical damage.

The recommended maximum dosage is 30%.



 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

Discover how to make your own DIY luxury personalized bath bombs with our base recipe here.

Interested in discovering the benefits and uses of other popular cosmetic raw materials? Learn more by reading our articles on Zinc Oxide, Hyaluronic Acid, and Silk Raw Materials!



 

USING CITRIC ACID SAFELY

 

As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Citric Acid (Anhydrous USP/FCC) Raw Material is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this product for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women as well as those with sensitive skin are especially advised not to use Citric Acid Raw Material without the medical advice of a physician. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Citric Acid has the potential to cause skin irritations, particularly for those with sensitive skin or with extended contact. Prior to using topical formulations containing Citric Acid Raw Material, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount of the final formulation to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Citric Acid must never be used near the eyes, inner nose and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Citric Acid include itching, burning, swelling, rashes, redness, sunburn, and other forms of irritation. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.



IMPORTANT: All New Directions Aromatics (NDA) products are for external use only unless otherwise indicated. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or under the care of a medical practitioner. Please refer to our policies for further details, and our disclaimer below.

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