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Citric Acid

Citric acid is a natural substance produced in various amounts by all types of citrus fruits. Common natural sources of the ingredient include lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits. The bitter taste of citric acid makes it a common additive in foods and beverages, and its chemical properties are beneficial in skin care products. Its importance as an ingredient has led to the massive production of citric acid around the world; more than 1 million tons of the acid are manufactured worldwide each year.

The Persian alchemist Jābir ibn Hayyān, who lived during the 8th century, is credited with the initial discovery of citric acid. By the medieval age, scholars in Europe had also discovered the acid and wrote extensively about it early scientific texts. Although the existence of citric acid was well established, it took nearly a thousand years from the first discovery of the ingredient to the first successful isolation of the acid from fruits. It was the Swiss scientist Carl Wilhelm who finally managed to extract the acid in 1784.

Even after citric acid was isolated, obtaining enough of the acid for use on a wide scale proved difficult. It was not until 1893 that a possible solution was found when scientist C. Wehmer discovered that fermenting sugar with the mold Penicillium could produce citric acid. After World War I made it difficult to obtain the citrus fruits needed to extract citric acid, scientists began investigating Wehmer's findings, and in 1917 the scientist James Currie found that the fungus Aspergillus niger was incredibly useful as a fermenting agent in the production of citric acid. To this day, this fungus is still the chief material used in the industrial manufacturing of citric acid.

In its raw state, citric acid is often used to adjust the pH of skin care products.

In its raw state, citric acid is often used to adjust the pH of skin care products. Adding the ingredient to a formula makes it slightly more acidic and can help other ingredients in a particular product function more optimally. Under the labeling regulations established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, citric acid does not need to be listed on the packaging of products that use the ingredient simply as a pH adjuster, and as a result, many people use citric acid every day in their cleansers and soaps, toners, moisturizers, hair care products and cosmetics without ever knowing it. The acid is also crucial for ensuring the desired color results from many hair dyes.

Citric acid is a member of the alpha hydroxy acid family of molecules. This class of acids is widely used in skin care products that are meant to exfoliate the complexion. When applied to the skin in a concentrated dose, citric acid breaks down the protein bonds between dead and living skin cells, causing the older, dead cells to be shed. Alpha hydroxy acids like citric acid are included in over-the-counter products and in clinical chemical peels that are used to resurface the complexion to eliminate fine lines, wrinkles, scars and areas of skin discoloration. By removing the dead cells that often clog the pores, citric acid can also be beneficial for people suffering from acne or enlarged pores.

Citric acid is a member of the alpha hydroxy acid family of molecules.

In addition to its usefulness in its raw state, citric acid can be combined with minerals and compounds to form ingredients that offer additional benefits for the skin. Esters formed from citric acid create a thin protective coating on the skin that limits how much moisture evaporates from the tissue into the air. This makes the citric acid esters like tricaprylyl citrate effective ingredients in moisturizers. The esters of the acid also help to soften the skin, providing additional moisturizing benefits.

Aluminum mixed with citric acid forms a substance called aluminum citrate and is used as an astringent in skin care products. Products that contain aluminum citrate help to shrink the pores and are useful for combating pore enlargement as well as for treating acne and improving the look and feel of oily and combination skin. Another derivative of citric acid, ethyl citrate creates a stiff covering when sprayed onto the hair and is a common ingredient in hairsprays. A combination of zinc and citric acid, zinc citrate helps to prevent the formation of tartar on the teeth and is a common ingredient in natural toothpastes and teeth whiteners.

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Citric Acid Products

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Gently cleans and revitalizes dry hair to improve volume and shine.
$22.00
8 oz | NA017
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Daily shampoo for fine, limp hair that cleanses and boosts volume.
$22.00
8 oz | NA022
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Clear away oil, dirt, and sweat 6x better than hands while prepping face and neck for a smoother, closer shave.
$189.00
1 ct | CS196
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Achieve gorgeous, golden skin without subjecting your skin to the aging effects of sun exposure.
$16.00
5 oz | PN078
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Add to your favorite face or body moisturizer to give skin a natural-looking, long-lasting tan.
$18.00
0.5 oz | PN079
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Gentle cleanser quickly removes makeup and helps fights the signs of aging.
$18.00
6.4 oz | PN067
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Limited-edition set includes the Black Leopard Mia 2 and a bonus FULL SIZE Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash.
$149.00 $173.00 value
1 ct | CSPK78
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A three-in-one daily detox facial wash with Vitamin C, to help smooth, purify and clarify the skin.
$12.00
11.8 oz | GK043
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Indulgent hand cream in a richer version of the signature rose scent.
$58.00
5.2 oz | JQ198
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Cleanser and brush head customized to cleanse men's unique skin.
$47.00 $52.00 value
CS199
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A leave-in conditioner that absorbs instantly and deeply hydrates dry, brittle, aging hair.
$30.00
5.1 oz | AR328
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Enjoy hours of sleek, long-wearing color with bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner.
$16.00
0.04 oz | BE930
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An alcohol-free formulation designed to awaken skin, restore hydration and protect from environmental aggressors.
$16.00
2 oz | FC043
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Enjoy hours of sleek, long-wearing color with bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner.
$16.00
0.04 oz | BE929
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Enjoy hours of sleek, long-wearing color with bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner.
$16.00
0.04 oz | BE926
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Enjoy hours of sleek, long-wearing color with bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner.
$16.00
0.04 oz | BE932
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Enjoy hours of sleek, long-wearing color with bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner.
$16.00
0.04 oz | BE927
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Enjoy hours of sleek, long-wearing color with bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner.
$16.00
0.04 oz | BE925
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Enjoy hours of sleek, long-wearing color with bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner.
$16.00
0.04 oz | BE928
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Enjoy hours of sleek, long-wearing color with bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner.
$16.00
0.04 oz | BE931
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Enjoy hours of sleek, long-wearing color with bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner.
$16.00
0.04 oz | BE933
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Enjoy hours of sleek, long-wearing color with bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner.
$16.00
0.04 oz | BE924
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Includes the microcurrent facial toning device and an attachment for lip and eye area.
$429.00 $503.00 value
NF041
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With super-hydrators and water-protecting probiotics, it instantly soothes, smoothes and plumps skin.
$100.00
1 oz | ER066
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A ready-to-drink rejuvenating concentrate scientifically tested in reducing of first wrinkles and known to help preserve skin elasticity.
$50.00
10 ct | TH205
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Gives a feeling of freshness and well-being to the skin, enveloping it in a delicate, energizing aqua scent.
$34.00
3.38 oz | TH196
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Helps you manage dietary “slips” and maintain your slimming objective.
$38.00
10 ct | TH202
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Fights and corrects the stubborn (grades 1 and 2) cellulite-generating process at its source.
$68.00
6.76 oz | TH197
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A liquid supplement that offers a corrective solution to improve the look of orange-peel skin.
$50.00
10 ct | TH203
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This bi-phase lotion instantly and effectively removes all types of make-up, even waterproof.
$32.00
4.22 oz | TH193
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Cooling under-eye gel helps reduce the appearance of puffy, dark circles.
$32.00
0.5 oz | MO375
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Unique formula allows your feet to exfoliate naturally, leaving them smooth and baby soft.
$25.00
1 ct | FJ001
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A 3-in-1 oil-free tinted moisturizer that combines corrective skincare, natural coverage make-up and SPF20 protection.
$49.00
1.3 oz | CP178
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A 3-in-1 oil-free tinted moisturizer that combines corrective skincare, natural coverage make-up and SPF20 protection.
$49.00
1.3 oz | CP179
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Instantly cleanse, tone, and treat all the signs of aging on the go or at home.
$18.00
30 ct | DG178
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This lightweight serum targets the loss of luminosity at its source.
$70.00
1.01 oz | TH182
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This lip and cheek stain uses all natural ingredients to enhance your natural coloring.
$25.00
0.1 oz | JI584
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Washes away dirt, build-up and excess oils for a shiny, healthy-looking finish.
$30.00
10 oz | MO372
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Tames frizz, seals split ends and leaves hair silky and tangle-free.
$26.00
6 oz | PB072
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This anti-aging product is specifically formulated to treat the delicate areas of the eye and lip contours.
$100.00
0.51 oz | TH192
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This mask gives skin an instant plumping effect, smoothes and hydrates in just 5 minutes.
$40.00
1.69 oz | TH186
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A 7 day express treatment program that refreshes, revitalizes and plumps the skin.
$50.00
0.28 oz | TH183
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A lightweight gel cream that revitalizes, remineralizes and boosts skin radiance.
$58.00
1.69 oz | TH185
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Treat oily, acne-prone skin with this targeted solution for imperfections and blemishes.
$25.00
0.5 oz | EX125
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Longwearing nail lacquer in an opaque, rosy nude creme.
$18.00
0.04 oz | ON222
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Longwearing nail lacquer in an opaque, soft grey creme.
$18.00
0.04 oz | ON227
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Longwearing nail lacquer in an opaque, dark blackberry creme.
$18.00
0.04 oz | ON214
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Longwearing nail lacquer in an opaque, bright coral creme.
$18.00
0.04 oz | ON220
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