Citric Acid

EWG level: 2

Citric Acid is an organic acid that is widely distributed in plants and animals. Sodium Citrate is a salt of Citric Acid that is commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products. This is an alpha hydroxy acid used in personal care products to adjust the acidity or promote skin peeling and re-growth in the case of anti-aging products. Citric Acid is a weak organic acid found in citrus fruits. It is also frequently added to soft drinks. Citric Acid is a central compound in the citric acid cycle, a metabolic pathway in essentially all organisms that produces the energy used by cells. Some Citric Acid esters, such as Triethyl and Tributyl Citrate are plasticizers for resins, inks and polishes. Citric acid is naturally found in citric fruits and juices, providing the characteristic acidic taste. Extract derived from citrus and used primarily in small amounts to adjust the pH of products to prevent them from being too alkaline. Citric Acid and its Diammonium, Potassium and Sodium salts help preserve cosmetics and personal care products by chelating (complexing) metals. Citric Acid and its salts are also added to cosmetics to help adjust the acid/base balance.

Its functions are: Chelating Agent; Fragrance Ingredient; pH Adjuster; Buffering; Masking.

Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) – use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions (Canada – Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients)

Organ system Concerns, “Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful” (Environment Canada Domestic Substance List)

“Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food” (FDA Everything Added to Food)

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