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Anhydrous Citric Acid in Cosmetics

Citric Acid is one of the most versatile products that we sell. It is a tricarboxylic acid which can be found naturally in citric fruits such as oranges and lemons.

The main difference between citric acid monohydrate and citric acid anhydrous is that citric acid monohydrate has a water molecule associated with a citric acid molecule, whereas the latter lacks crystallization water. Remembering the fact that 'anhydrous' means 'water-free' is the easiest way to remember this.

In this article we will be concentrating on the anhydrous version of citric acid. Citric acid anhydrous is usually odourless, and occurs as colourless crystals or as white, crystalline powder with a strongly acidic taste. It is extremely soluble in water, freely soluble in ethanol (96 %) and slightly soluble in ether.

You will find citric acid in many everyday products that you use. Including toothpaste, food, drink, cleaning products and tablets.

Our food grade granular Anydrous Citric Acid is perfect for use in many sectors such as the cosmetics, food, and cleaning industries to name a few. We will be mostly be concentrating on how it is used in the cosmetics industry, but here are a few other uses:

Food industry

Anhydrous citric acid is a food additive (E330) that is often used as an acidity regulator, flavouring agent and preservative in a variety of food and drinks, improving the taste, colour and freshness of the products. Citric acid is also a popular ingredient in certain sour sweets due to its flavour (do you recall that white coating on some of your favourite sweets? That's citric acid!).

Cleaning Industry

Citric acid has antibacterial properties, making it a great for cleaning.

At home, citric acid can be used for many tasks including descaling, stain removal, hard water, rust etc.

You will also find citric acid in a lot of ready to buy products such as dishwashing detergent, toilet cleaner, descaler, bathroom cleaner and oven cleaner.


Citric acid has a wide range of benefits when used in cosmetics and you will find the ingredient in an array of finished products such as bath bombs, shower steamers, face products and so much more.

Some of the main benefits of using citric acid in cosmetics are that it has antioxidant properties and it is a great exfoliator for removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores. Citric acid also targets pigmentation, dark spots, mild breakouts and promotes skin cell turnover, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

It helps to even out the skin tone, brighten and hydrate the skin.

It is particularly beneficial to those who have an 'oily' skin type as it has astringent properties, which means it can help to dry out excess oils.

Citric acid is one of the main ingredients in bath bomb making and also one of the most important when it come to making the bubbles that we so love. When mixed with water, the citric acid reacts with the sodium bicarbonate in the bath bomb, forming by-products of sodium citrate and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide bubbles out as a gas, helping the bath bomb to break up and letting the colours and oils etc. mix with the rest of the bath water. (these are the bubbles that we see). Meanwhile, you will probably not even notice the sodium citrate (a type of salt) as it dissolves into the water. This is also true for shower steamers.

We could go on forever about the uses and benefits of citric acid. It is so versatile and whether you are just starting out in the cosmetics industry or you are a well established maker, citric acid is definitely a must-have ingredient!


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