What is citric acid?
Citric acid is one of the various organic acids found in fruits. Like the name suggests, citric acid is primarily found in citric fruits such as lemons and oranges. It is also found in some berries. This alpha/beta hydroxy acid is used in most cosmetic and beauty products due to its various skin-benefiting properties.
Why should I use Citric Acid for Skin ?
As mentioned earlier, citric acid for skin provides various benefits which can be used to eliminate skin problems. As citric acid is suitable for all ages and skin types, it is the ideal supporting ingredient to add to beauty and skincare products. Some of the citric acid benefits for skin are:
- Citric acid exfoliates the skin, thereby unclogging pores and removing dead skin cells from the surface. This, in turn, promotes new skin growth that can remove age spots, pimple scars, and blemishes. It also prevents the build-up of dead cells that lead to blackheads and dry patches.
- Citric acid is known to be a pH adjuster. It is used in beauty products to make sure that the product is not too acidic or basic. It is also found to balance the pH levels of the skin which aids in healthy skin barrier function.
- As citric acid helps in healthy skin barrier function, it can repair the damage caused by the UV rays from sunlight.
- Citric acid is rich in antioxidants. This property helps protect the skin from unknown aggressors that you may inevitably encounter daily. These aggressors include pollution, toxins, etc.
- It brightens and softens the skin.
- Citric acid can help balance the skin tone.
- It reduces fine lines and wrinkles by targeting the skin’s hydrating support matrix.
What are the sources of citric acid?
You can use citric acid both internally and externally.
- Internal sources: Citric acid can be found in citric fruits like lemon, orange, grapefruit, sweet lime, etc. It can also be found in berries. These fruits nourish your skin from within using citric acid.
- External sources: Citric acid found in fruits can be directly mixed into homemade recipes, topical creams, and lotions or can be concentrated into a powdered form.
How can I include citric acid in my skincare routine?
If you have never used citric acid before, do a patch test to see how your skin reacts to this ingredient. If after a few hours, you notice any abnormal changes in your skin texture such as redness, rashes, etc, do not use this ingredient until you consult a dermatologist. If your skin is unaffected by it, slowly introduce citric acid into your skincare routine. Although it is easier to buy products from the store, you can reap citric acid benefits through home recipes as well. Here are some ways:
- Citric acid scrub: You can use citric acid as an exfoliant by preparing a scrub. Mix ¼ of a cup of yogurt with 2 tablespoons of oats and 1 tablespoon of citric acid powder. Stir until it becomes a smooth paste. Apply this scrub on your skin in circular motions for about two minutes. Wash it off with cool water. This scrub can help remove dead cells, unclog pores, and leave your skin soft and rejuvenated. Some citrus scrub benefits are:
- Removal of dead skin cells.
- Exfoliated skin.
- Unclogging the pores on your skin.
- Soft and rejuvenated skin
- Citric acid milk mask: You can mix citric acid with lactic acid to slough away dead skin cells and marks on your face. Mix ¼ of a cup of low-fat milk, 2 tablespoons of citric acid powder, and ¼ of a cup of water. Apply this paste to your face and let it sit for fifteen minutes. Wash it off with warm water.
How do I include citric acid in my bath?
Another way to reap the benefits of citric acid is to add lemon slices or lemon powder to your bath. Lemon in bathwater benefits your skin as it enhances the brightness of your skin and keeps it fresh. Lemon is one of the most popular ingredients among many other fruit water used for clear skin. Other lemon powder benefits are:
- It improves the freshness of the skin
- It improves body odor.
- It reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
- Lemon water reduces acne as it unclogs pores and flushes out the impurities.
Is citric acid suitable for all skin types?
Citric acid is a safe option for most users. However, the concentration of citric acid in your regimen must be made appropriate for your skin type. People with oily skin can tolerate higher concentrations than people with dry and sensitive skin. People with hypersensitive skin are not recommended to use citric acid.
Is citric acid safe for my skin?
Citric acid is safe to use for almost everyone. However, if you have sensitive skin, a skin condition, or other health concerns, consult a dermatologist before diving into citric acid products and recipes. While citric acid is extremely beneficial to the skin, using it without caution can result in side effects such as burning, tingling, and redness. Ensure that you test all products containing citric acid on a small patch of skin before using it properly. If you use citric acid in your morning routine, make sure you use an SPF after you are done as citric acid can increase the photosensitivity of your skin.