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Data: Good

Citric Acid

  • Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.

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, and 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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shampoo1547 products
body wash/cleanser1347 products
conditioner1093 products
liquid hand soap941 products
facial cleanser613 products
bath oil/salts/soak600 products
facial moisturizer/treatment521 products
moisturizer424 products
mask379 products
hair treatment/serum352 products
serums & essences319 products
foundation302 products
lip balm228 products
hair color and bleaching217 products
daily use with SPF207 products
exfoliant/scrub197 products
hair styling aide172 products
toners/astringents165 products
eye liner154 products
bubble bath150 products
lipstick150 products
recreational sunscreen149 products
baby wipes142 products
nail polish140 products
makeup remover137 products
baby shampoo131 products
around-eye cream122 products
brow liner112 products
baby soap108 products
hand cream89 products
toothpaste85 products
bar soap81 products
bronzer/highlighter75 products
eye shadow67 products
concealer65 products
sunless tanning64 products
mascara62 products
makeup primer61 products
detangler58 products
styling gel/lotion57 products
hand sanitizer51 products
antiperspirant/deodorant50 products
lip gloss49 products
body spray47 products
blush47 products
setting powder/spray47 products
body firming lotion43 products
baby lotion41 products
baby bubble bath40 products
lip liner40 products
shaving cream38 products
anti-aging36 products
mouthwash31 products
BB cream31 products
styling mousse/foam29 products
29 products
hair spray28 products
hair-loss treatment28 products
baby sunscreen27 products
CC cream26 products
beard cleanser22 products
fragrance for women20 products
beard care19 products
baby toothpaste18 products
skin fading/lightener17 products
after sun product17 products
foot moisturizer16 products
lip balm with SPF15 products
facial powder14 products
tooth whitening14 products
after shave14 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)14 products
eye makeup remover13 products
nail treatment13 products
shaving cream (men's)11 products
body oil9 products
muscle/joint soreness7 products
foot cleansing6 products
damaged skin treatment6 products
glitter5 products
eyelash glue4 products
oil controller3 products
lip plumper3 products
fragrance for men2 products
hair removal waxes2 products
baby oil2 products
vapor rubs2 products
tanning oil2 products
beard oil2 products
diaper cream1 products
polish remover1 products
hair relaxer1 products
other eye makeup1 products
foot odor control1 products
body powder1 products
body art1 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

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

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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

Ecotoxicology

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

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.

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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