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Data: Fair

Malic Acid

  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use around the eyes due to increased risk of absorption.
  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products that are inhalable (e.g., sprays, powders) because of respiratory concerns.
  • Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

SEARCH PRODUCTS

Other Concerns

Use restrictions (high) and Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (moderate)

SYNONYMS

2-HYDROXYETHANE-1,2-DICARBOXYLIC ACID, BUTANEDIOIC ACID, HYDROXY, BUTANEDIOIC ACID, HYDROXY-, DEOXYTETRARIC ACID, DL-MALIC ACID, HYDROXY- BUTANEDIOIC ACID, HYDROXYBUTANEDIOIC ACID, HYDROXYSUCCINNIC ACID, L-MALIC ACID, and MALIC ACID

Malic acid is a naturally occurring organic acid; present in many sour or acidic food and formed during metabolism in plants and animals.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

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

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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shampoo23 products
mask18 products
exfoliant/scrub18 products
conditioner18 products
facial moisturizer/treatment16 products
baby wipes16 products
lip gloss13 products
facial cleanser10 products
body wash/cleanser10 products
serums & essences9 products
toners/astringents8 products
nail treatment6 products
moisturizer6 products
hair treatment/serum6 products
lip balm6 products
recreational sunscreen5 products
liquid hand soap4 products
blush3 products
daily use with SPF3 products
hair color and bleaching3 products
nail polish3 products
tooth whitening2 products
detangler2 products
foot moisturizer2 products
makeup remover1 products
skin fading/lightener1 products
bar soap1 products
damaged skin treatment1 products
baby sunscreen1 products
beard care1 products
facial powder1 products
body powder1 products
shaving cream (men's)1 products
after shave1 products
makeup primer1 products
shaving cream1 products
beard oil1 products
oil controller1 products
styling mousse/foam1 products
around-eye cream1 products
foundation1 products
hair styling aide1 products

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Human any irritant - strong evidenceCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Recommended restricted in cosmetics - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Safe for use as a pH adjuster, insufficient data to support safety of other uses, according to industry safety panelCosmetic 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

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

Data gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
2275 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 Everything Added to Food
  • 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.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • 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.

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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