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GLYCOLIC ACID

Score:

Data: Fair

  • Other Concerns
  • Functions
  • About the Chemical
  • Synonyms
  • Use restrictions (high) and Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high)

Cancer

Cancer concern is LOW

Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity

Developmental & reproductive toxicity concern is LOW

Allergies & Immunotoxicity

Allergies & immunotoxicity concern is LOW

Products with this Ingredient

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serums & essences67 products
mask66 products
facial moisturizer/treatment56 products
facial cleanser51 products
exfoliant/scrub45 products
toners/astringents44 products
shampoo13 products
anti-aging11 products
daily use with SPF10 products
moisturizer10 products
concealer7 products
foot cleansing6 products
foot moisturizer6 products
around-eye cream4 products
makeup remover4 products
conditioner4 products
body wash/cleanser3 products
makeup primer3 products
bar soap3 products
sunless tanning3 products
body firming lotion2 products
hair styling aide2 products
liquid hand soap2 products
foot odor control2 products
depilatory2 products
oil controller2 products
setting powder/spray2 products
baby lotion1 products
brow liner1 products
beard cleanser1 products
detangler1 products

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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Concern Reference
The SCCNFP reports glycolic acid is a skin irritant.THE SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE ON COSMETIC PRODUCTS AND NON-FOOD PRODUCTS INTENDED FOR CONSUMERS POSITION PAPER CONCERNING THE SAFETY OF ALPHA-HYDROXY ACIDS Adopted by the SCCNFP during the 13th plenary meeting of 28 June 2000

Use restrictions

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Concern Reference
Violation of industry recommendations - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Allowable pH limitsIJT 17(S1):1-242, 1998
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualificationsIJT 17(S1):1-242, 1998

Occupational hazards

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Concern Reference
Single case study detailing occupational hazardsNational Library of Medicine HazMap

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 productIJT 17(S1):1-242, 1998
3765 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Cancer

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Concern Reference
Glycolic acid did not cause UV-related skin cancer in a large, 1-year cancer study.National Toxicology Program (NTP) 2007. Technical Report on the Photocarcinogenesis of Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid (CAS NOS. 79-14-1 and 69-72-7) in SKH-1 Mice. NTP TR 524. September 2007. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/files/524_web1.pdf

Ecotoxicology

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Concern Reference
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Informational

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Concern Reference
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - Allowable pH limitsIJT 17(S1):1-242, 1998

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

Data Sources

  • THE SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE ON COSMETIC PRODUCTS AND NON-FOOD PRODUCTS INTENDED FOR CONSUMERS POSITION PAPER CONCERNING THE SAFETY OF ALPHA-HYDROXY ACIDS Adopted by the SCCNFP during the 13th plenary meeting of 28 June 2000
  • IJT 17(S1):1-242, 1998
  • Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
  • National Toxicology Program (NTP) 2007. Technical Report on the Photocarcinogenesis of Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid (CAS NOS. 79-14-1 and 69-72-7) in SKH-1 Mice. NTP TR 524. September 2007. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/files/524_web1.pdf
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.

About this Ingredient's Score Range

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

ABOUT THE SKIN DEEP® RATINGS

EWG provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings below indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer

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Beyond providing Skin Deep® as an educational tool for consumers, EWG offers its EWG VERIFIED™ mark as a quick and easily identifiable way of conveying personal care products that meet EWG's strict health criteria. Before a company can use EWG VERIFIED™ on such products, the company must show that it fully discloses the products' ingredients on their labels or packaging, they do not contain EWG ingredients of concern, and are made with good manufacturing practices, among other criteria. Note that EWG receives licensing fees from all EWG VERIFIED™ member companies that help to support the important work we do. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer