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Data: Good

Citric Acid

  • This ingredient's score is higher if used in products that may not meet industry safety guidelines or U.S. and international government requirements. The score will be lower if used in products that meet these safety guidelines and requirements.

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

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Other Concerns

Use restrictions (moderate)

SYNONYMS

● 1,2,3-PROPANETRICARBOXYLIC ACID, 2-HYDROXY-
● 1,2,3PROPANETRICARBOXYLIC ACID, 2HYDROXY
● 2-HYDROXY- 1,2,3-PROPANETRICARBOXYLIC ACID
● 2-HYDROXY-1,2,3-PROPANETRICARBOXYLIC ACID
● ANHYDROUS CITRIC ACID
● CITRIC ACID
● CITRIC ACID, ANHYDROUS
● MONOHYDRATE CITRIC ACID

Restricted

Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation


Citric acid 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 naturally found in citric fruits and juices, providing the characteristic acidic taste.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • LOW
    Cancer
  • LOW
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • LOW
    Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity
  • MODERATE
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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shampoo1933 products
body wash/cleanser1423 products
conditioner1308 products
liquid hand soap946 products
facial cleanser590 products
facial moisturizer/treatment586 products
bath oil/salts/soak501 products
hair treatment/serum488 products
moisturizer476 products
serums & essences401 products
mask365 products
hair styling aide268 products
exfoliant/scrub215 products
foundation200 products
nail polish194 products
hair color and bleaching188 products
baby wipes177 products
toners/astringents171 products
eye liner150 products
daily use with SPF149 products
around-eye cream148 products
recreational sunscreen145 products
baby shampoo144 products
lipstick134 products
lip balm132 products
baby soap126 products
bubble bath122 products
brow liner112 products
hand cream101 products
bar soap100 products
makeup remover98 products
styling gel/lotion90 products
concealer87 products
toothpaste78 products
sunless tanning73 products
makeup primer72 products
detangler69 products
mascara65 products
bronzer/highlighter64 products
hair spray63 products
blush62 products
antiperspirant/deodorant59 products
lip gloss59 products
eye shadow56 products
baby lotion49 products
setting powder/spray47 products
hand sanitizer46 products
styling mousse/foam45 products
mouthwash41 products
shaving cream40 products
anti-aging36 products
body firming lotion33 products
body cleansing wipes33 products
baby bubble bath31 products
lip liner31 products
hair-loss treatment29 products
body spray26 products
after sun product25 products
25 products
beard cleanser23 products
facial cleansing wipes22 products
fragrance for women20 products
baby sunscreen20 products
skin fading/lightener19 products
after shave19 products
nail treatment18 products
eye makeup remover15 products
foot moisturizer15 products
tooth whitening15 products
eyelash glue15 products
other eye makeup14 products
CC cream13 products
lip balm with SPF13 products
baby toothpaste12 products
shaving cream (men's)12 products
body oil12 products
BB cream12 products
beard care11 products
makeup removing wipes9 products
facial powder8 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)7 products
muscle/joint soreness5 products
glitter4 products
lip plumper4 products
damaged skin treatment4 products
oil controller3 products
foot cleansing3 products
polish remover3 products
nail glue3 products
diaper cream2 products
fragrance for men2 products
depilatory2 products
hair removal waxes2 products
hair relaxer2 products
vapor rubs2 products
tanning oil2 products
foot odor control2 products
cuticle treatment1 products
baby oil1 products
beard oil1 products
pore strips1 products
exfoliant/scrub - large particle1 products

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients

Data gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - Maximum reported "as used" concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR) - implicit safe concentration limit in productCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
20950 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Food Additive Status
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Everything Added to Food

Informational

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - anyCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as a low human health priorityEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
  • Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Understanding scores

Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.

Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.

HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES

Hazard score

The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED® mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.

Score legend

Data availability

The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.

NONE LIMITED FAIR GOOD ROBUST
Low Availability
Moderate Availability
High Availability

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