CITRIC ACID (AHA)
From the first sound, citric acid probably sounds more like an ingredient that belongs in a smoothie than in a skincare ingredient. But with many different benefits, it should be on that top skincare ingredient list, too. So, here’s our guide to everything you need to know about citric acid in skincare.
Let us talk about acids in general.
Putting acids on your skin might sound terrifying initially, but you don’t need to be an expert or a scientist to seek out the proper acid for you and your skincare routine.
The best bit? Acids might be the answer to the most common of your skincare troubles: acne, pigmentation, uneven skin tone, and rough texture. The acids can be divided into two categories: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). If you're using a Skincare acid, surely, it'll fall into one of these two categories.
AHA’s family is water-soluble acids which are ideal for dry skin types because they can be hydrating while also exfoliating. Most common include Glycolic Acid, and Lactic Acid, all of which help to exfoliate the surface skin and keep the skin moisturized and plump.
What is Citric Acid?
While Glycolic and Lactic Acids often get the most attention, there's another acid, also very commonly used AHA, that deserves equal consideration. We're talking about ''Citric Acid'', sourced naturally from citrus fruits such as lemons and limes and which has some unique properties and good-for-your-skin benefits that set it apart from other acids.
It’s obvious that citric Acid - as any AHA would - working by exfoliating the upper layer of dead skin cells to help unclog and clean pores for brightening and smoothing a lackluster complexion, but it also has a few additional benefits worth calling out:
- Citric Acid has protective antioxidants and corrective antiaging effects, helping to reverse visible signs of photodamage, improving skin elasticity, and increasing skin firmness.
- Helping repair skin barrier function by maintaining the optimum level of acidic pH in areas of the skin, which are essential for normal skin barrier function.
- Has astringent properties: a best option for Oily skin types as Citric acid is a natural astringent, helping dry out excess oil and leaving the skin feeling nice and clean.
- Citric acid has also been observed to help repair skin barrier function by maintaining the optimum level of acidic pH in areas of the skin, which are essential for normal skin barrier function.
- Citric Acid has protective antioxidants and corrective antiaging effects in skincare formulations, helping to reverse visible signs of photodamage.
Side Effects of Citric Acid
As citric acid is considered gentler and milder than the other AHA, it is still an acid, which means there's always a possibility for skin irritation, especially for people with sensitive or inflammatory skin. Citric acid will also make your skin more susceptible to sunlight, so it's important to wear your daily SPF sunscreen wherever you're going.