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Data: Good

Lactic 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 (high) and Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (low)

SYNONYMS

2-HYDROPROPANOIC ACID, 2-HYDROXY- PROPANOIC ACID, 2-HYDROXYPROPANOIC ACID, 2-HYDROXYPROPIONIC ACID, A-HYDROXYPROPANOIC ACID, LACTATE, LACTIC ACID, and PROPANOIC ACID, 2-HYDROXY-

Restricted

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


Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid; naturally produced in the process of bacterial fermentation, for example milk fermentation. Lactic acid is frequently used as an exfoliant and in anti-wrinkle products.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

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

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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conditioner265 products
mask149 products
facial moisturizer/treatment143 products
serums & essences107 products
facial cleanser95 products
hair treatment/serum88 products
moisturizer87 products
exfoliant/scrub85 products
shampoo82 products
body wash/cleanser73 products
toners/astringents49 products
lip plumper34 products
around-eye cream28 products
lipstick27 products
hair color and bleaching25 products
hand cream21 products
daily use with SPF17 products
makeup remover17 products
lip gloss17 products
hair-loss treatment16 products
hair styling aide16 products
foot cleansing15 products
liquid hand soap14 products
makeup primer14 products
foot moisturizer13 products
detangler9 products
antiperspirant/deodorant9 products
lip balm9 products
anti-aging8 products
sunless tanning8 products
styling gel/lotion8 products
styling mousse/foam8 products
after shave7 products
body firming lotion7 products
hair spray5 products
oil controller5 products
lip liner5 products
fragrance for men5 products
baby wipes4 products
setting powder/spray4 products
recreational sunscreen3 products
nail treatment3 products
shaving cream (men's)3 products
bar soap3 products
facial powder3 products
skin fading/lightener2 products
baby soap2 products
baby shampoo2 products
mouthwash2 products
bronzer/highlighter2 products
cuticle treatment2 products
beard cleanser2 products
bubble bath2 products
body spray1 products
eye makeup remover1 products
foot odor control1 products
after sun product1 products
mascara1 products
foundation1 products
baby bubble bath1 products
eye shadow1 products
baby lotion1 products
shaving cream1 products
blush1 products
body oil1 products
damaged skin treatment1 products
1 products
bath oil/salts/soak1 products
fragrance for women1 products
eye liner1 products
hand sanitizer1 products
baby toothpaste1 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)1 products

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Violation of industry recommendations - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Allowable pH limitsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
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 qualificationsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

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 productCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
143272 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

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

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

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 limitsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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