1. Beauty Glossary
  2. Citric Acid

Citric Acid for Skin & Beauty

Citric acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) – or, in simpler terms, a weak organic acid that naturally occurs in the juices of your favourite citrus fruits such as lemon, lime and orange. Often produced as a white crystalline powder, it's used in cosmetics as an exfoliator and setting agent, and can be commercially manufactured through the fermentation of sugar.

See our citric acid guide to answer your questions like what does citric acid do and what are the benefits of citric acid in cosmetics.

Brands With Citric Acid Products

  • BABOR
  • Nuxe
  • Schwarzkopf Professional
  • ELEMIS
  • Green People
  • Matrix
  • Joico
  • Davines

Refine By

Brand

Makeup

Skin Care

Fragrance

Hair Care

Body Care

Wellbeing

Sunscreen & Self Tan

Men's Grooming

Nails

Oral Care

Sale

Sort By

2,415 products found
-38%
Decléor Hydra Floral White Petal Skin Perfecting Concentrate
Decléor Hydra Floral White Petal Skin Perfecting Concentrate
£32.40 £52.00
-22%
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Ultra Rich Marine Cream
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Ultra Rich Marine Cream
£67.95 £87.00
-48%
SkinSense Retinol Serum
SkinSense Retinol Serum
£19.99 £37.95
-27%
Institut Esthederm Intensif Vitamine C Cream
Institut Esthederm Intensif Vitamine C Cream
£45.33 £62.00
-31%
Moroccanoil Hydrating Mask Light
Moroccanoil Hydrating Mask Light
£36.02 £51.85
-39%
Decléor Hydra Floral White Petal Skin Perfecting Hydrating Sleeping Mask
Decléor Hydra Floral White Petal Skin Perfecting Hydrating Sleeping Mask
£24.75 £40.00
-20%
Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum
Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum
£59.46 £74.00
-31%
REN All Is Bright
REN All Is Bright
£31.70 £45.60
-17%
Dermalogica Our Hydration Heroes
Dermalogica Our Hydration Heroes
£65.95 £79.00
-31%
Institut Esthederm Cellular Water Cream
Institut Esthederm Cellular Water Cream
£29.33 £42.00
-25%
ELEMIS Dynamic Resurfacing Gel Mask
ELEMIS Dynamic Resurfacing Gel Mask
£37.95 £50.00
-7%
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Ultra Smart Complex 12 Serum
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Ultra Smart Complex 12 Serum
£168.00 £179.99
-20%
Medik8 Advanced Day Ultimate Protect Moisturiser SPF 50
Medik8 Advanced Day Ultimate Protect Moisturiser SPF 50
£47.20 £59.00
-25%
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ashita Supreme Scrub
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ashita Supreme Scrub
£34.88 £46.50
-20%
Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense
Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense
£45.60 £57.00
-21%
Dermalogica Calm Water Gel
Dermalogica Calm Water Gel
£38.95 £49.00
-16%
Kérastase Genesis Gift Set
Kérastase Genesis Gift Set
£50.38 £59.95
-24%
Murad Hydrating AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Murad Hydrating AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
£29.71 £39.00
-15%
Kérastase Blond Absolu Gift Set
Kérastase Blond Absolu Gift Set
£51.87 £60.95
-21%
Dermalogica AGE Bright Spot Fader
Dermalogica AGE Bright Spot Fader
£35.95 £45.00
-23%
ELEMIS Pro Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm
ELEMIS Pro Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm
£30.95 £39.99
-20%
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm
£35.20 £43.80
-15%
Dermalogica Age Smart Multi Vitamin Thermafoliant
Dermalogica Age Smart Multi Vitamin Thermafoliant
£46.75 £55.00
-25%
St Tropez Self Tan Purity Water Gel
St Tropez Self Tan Purity Water Gel
£24.75 £33.00
-15%
Dermalogica Circular Hydration Serum
Dermalogica Circular Hydration Serum
£46.75 £55.00
-23%
Guinot Gommage Biologique Biological Peeling Radiance Gel
Guinot Gommage Biologique Biological Peeling Radiance Gel
£27.65 £35.75
-31%
Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse Boost Multi-Perfection 5-in-1 Smoothing Primer
Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse Boost Multi-Perfection 5-in-1 Smoothing Primer
£17.67 £25.50
-20%
Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Intense Moisturiser
Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Intense Moisturiser
£31.20 £39.00
-44%
TIGI Bed Head Fully Loaded Massive Volume Shampoo
TIGI Bed Head Fully Loaded Massive Volume Shampoo
£9.65 £16.95
-25%
ELEMIS Tea Tree S.O.S. Spray
ELEMIS Tea Tree S.O.S. Spray
£21.95 £29.00
-21%
Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF 50
Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF 50
£27.95 £35.00
-21%
Dermalogica Discover Healthy Skin Set
Dermalogica Discover Healthy Skin Set
£27.95 £35.00
-47%
Isle of Paradise Blend It Multi Purpose Self Tan Blender
Isle of Paradise Blend It Multi Purpose Self Tan Blender
£7.90 £14.75
-12%
Emma Hardie Lift & Sculpt Firming Neck Treatment
Emma Hardie Lift & Sculpt Firming Neck Treatment
£51.67 £58.50
-58%
Schwarzkopf Professional Osis+ Dust It
Schwarzkopf Professional Osis+ Dust It
£4.95 £11.68
-38%
St Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Daily Firming Lotion
St Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Daily Firming Lotion
£11.29 £18.00
-34%
Institut Esthederm Hydra Replenishing Fresh Lotion
Institut Esthederm Hydra Replenishing Fresh Lotion
£13.33 £20.00
-19%
Kérastase Chroma Absolu Masque Vert Chroma Neutralisant
Kérastase Chroma Absolu Masque Vert Chroma Neutralisant
£28.20 £34.80
-20%
Gatineau Therapie Purete Mineraux Marins Foaming Cleanser
Gatineau Therapie Purete Mineraux Marins Foaming Cleanser
£27.61 £34.20
-25%
Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment
Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment
£19.50 £26.00
-19%
ELEMIS Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask
ELEMIS Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask
£27.95 £34.40
-20%
ELEMIS Men Daily Moisture Boost
ELEMIS Men Daily Moisture Boost
£25.60 £31.99
-58%
American Crew Daily Conditioner
American Crew Daily Conditioner
£4.65 £10.95
-19%
System Professional Luxeoil Keratin Booster
System Professional Luxeoil Keratin Booster
£26.95 £33.25
-21%
Trilogy Replenishing Night Cream
Trilogy Replenishing Night Cream
£24.75 £31.05
-21%
St Tropez Self Tan Purity Body Mousse
St Tropez Self Tan Purity Body Mousse
£24.75 £31.00
-16%
REN Perfect Canvas Clean Primer
REN Perfect Canvas Clean Primer
£33.29 £39.50
-38%
milk_shake Daily Frequent Conditioner
milk_shake Daily Frequent Conditioner
£9.95 £16.01
-18%
Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Styling Treatment Oil
Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Styling Treatment Oil
£27.95 £34.00
-18%
St Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Mousse
St Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Mousse
£27.95 £34.00
-31%
Clarins My Clarins RE-BOOST Refreshing Hydrating Cream
Clarins My Clarins RE-BOOST Refreshing Hydrating Cream
£13.95 £20.00
-24%
Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother
Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother
£19.95 £26.00
-20%
REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30
REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30
£25.46 £31.50
-26%
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Matifying Fluid
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Matifying Fluid
£17.99 £24.00
-20%
Medik8 Pore Refining Scrub
Medik8 Pore Refining Scrub
£24.00 £30.00
-15%
RevitaLash Thickening Shampoo
RevitaLash Thickening Shampoo
£35.00 £41.00
-20%
Medik8 Natural Clay Mask
Medik8 Natural Clay Mask
£24.00 £30.00
-20%
WE ARE PARADOXX Crushing It Scalp & Body Scrub
WE ARE PARADOXX Crushing It Scalp & Body Scrub
£24.04 £30.00
-25%
REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash
REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash
£18.37 £24.30
-17%
Green People Oy! My Skin Goals
Green People Oy! My Skin Goals
£29.25 £35.10
-17%
Green People Age Defy+ 24 Hour Brightening Cream
Green People Age Defy+ 24 Hour Brightening Cream
£29.25 £35.10
-22%
Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water
Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water
£21.30 £27.00
-31%
Redken Blondage High Bright Conditioner
Redken Blondage High Bright Conditioner
£12.93 £18.55
-21%
REN Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream
REN Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream
£21.92 £27.50
-55%
American Crew Daily Shampoo
American Crew Daily Shampoo
£4.65 £10.20
-21%
Davines MELU Hair Shield
Davines MELU Hair Shield
£21.95 £27.50
-17%
System Professional Smoothen Mask
System Professional Smoothen Mask
£27.95 £33.50
-11%
Shiseido Benefiance NutriPerfect Eye Serum
Shiseido Benefiance NutriPerfect Eye Serum
£48.00 £53.45
-27%
Sebastian Professional Volupt Conditioner
Sebastian Professional Volupt Conditioner
£14.95 £20.40
-18%
Trilogy Nutrient Plus Firming Serum
Trilogy Nutrient Plus Firming Serum
£24.75 £30.15
-21%
Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask
Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask
£20.62 £26.00
-21%
Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum
Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum
£20.62 £26.00
-16%
Kérastase Genesis Serum Anti-Chute Fortifiant
Kérastase Genesis Serum Anti-Chute Fortifiant
£28.28 £33.65
-15%
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
£31.95 £37.30
-38%
TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil Infused Shampoo For Coloured Hair
TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil Infused Shampoo For Coloured Hair
£8.65 £13.95
-41%
TIGI Catwalk Fashionista Violet Conditioner
TIGI Catwalk Fashionista Violet Conditioner
£7.65 £12.95
-20%
Sebastian Professional Twisted Elastic Mask
Sebastian Professional Twisted Elastic Mask
£21.12 £26.40
-18%
St Tropez Luxe Tan Tonic Drops
St Tropez Luxe Tan Tonic Drops
£24.79 £30.00
-25%
Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara Waterproof
Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara Waterproof
£15.93 £21.00
-20%
Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray
Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray
£20.95 £26.00
-28%
Redken All Soft Conditioner
Redken All Soft Conditioner
£12.93 £17.95
-20%
ELEMIS Superfood Facial Wash
ELEMIS Superfood Facial Wash
£20.00 £25.00
-20%
Medik8 Micellar Mousse
Medik8 Micellar Mousse
£20.00 £25.00
-16%
The Ordinary The Bright Set
The Ordinary The Bright Set
£28.00 £33.00
-39%
CeraVe Hydrating Foaming Oil Cleanser
CeraVe Hydrating Foaming Oil Cleanser
£8.02 £13.00
You've viewed 90 of 2,415 productsShow Me More
Citric Acid

Frequently Asked Questions about Citric Acid products

What does citric acid do?

Citric acid is used in small doses to adjust the pH of products and stop them from being too alkaline. When used in the correct formulas and concentrations, it can effectively exfoliate and brighten skin and even add a lemony fragrance.

What are the benefits of citric acid in cosmetics?

Because of its antioxidising and anti-ageing properties, citric acid is extremely beneficial for your complexion. It can be used to buff away dead skin, speed up cell regrowth, even out skin tone, unclog pores and minimise the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines – result.

Who should use citric acid beauty products?

While it's pretty much suitable for all skin types, citric acid is a particularly excellent ingredient for those who have mature or acne-prone skin.

What beauty products can I find citric acid in?

You can find citric acid lurking in the formulas of many products, but face masks, scrubs and peels are where you'll find them most. And if you're a foodie as well as a beauty junkie, it'll be in all of your sour sweets and drinks.

How often should I be using citric acid beauty products?

This one really depends on your skin type and the products you are using. If used too frequently and incorrectly, citric acid can make your skin dry and irritated. A good way of testing the waters is with a skin patch test.

Are there any side effects of citric acid beauty products?

If you're sensitive to citric acid then skin irritation and minor skin burns could be a negative side effect – this is where a patch test comes in handy. If you have a history of kidney and congestive heart diseases then it's advised you steer clear of citric acid supplements. And for the pregnant ladies out there with high blood potassium levels and ulcers, take caution – as stronger doses of citric acid can cause aggravation.

Can citric acid really burn skin?

Citric acid can burn skin and eyes if you come into contact with it at full strength – think of lemon juice in a fresh papercut. Ouch! Because of this it does rank a little higher in the risk department, but in beauty products it should never be acidic enough to pose a health risk.

Is citric acid the same as sodium citrate?

Basically, yes. Sodium citrate is the salt that derives from citric acid and is also commonly used in cosmetic products. Potassium citrate, aluminium citrate, diammonium citrate, zinc citrate and magnesium citrate are also natural salts that come from citric acid.

Hannah Liddle

Written by Hannah Liddle, Beauty Writer

Sign in or register

Sign in or register to save your wishlist permanently and view them on other devices.

  • View your wishlist across all your devices
  • Manage your price drop and stock alerts
  • Get access to exclusive promos
Select Site
Get Citric Acid Sale Alerts

When Citric Acid products go on sale, be the first to know.