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Soins à l'acide tartrique.

In which products can one find tartaric acid?

Tartaric acid is a fruit acid with numerous virtues. Renowned for its exfoliating properties, it is included in the composition of several skincare products. A comprehensive overview on the subject.

What exactly is tartaric acid?

Also known under the names of threaric acid and 2,3-dihydroxysuccinic acid, thetartric acid is widely found in nature. It can be found in the vine, grapes and vine leaves, but also in dandelions, sugar beets and many fruits.

In the 18th century, it was first isolated from grapes by Carl Wilhem SCHEEL, a Swedish apothecary. Since the mid-20th century, it can be produced from the residues of wine production, using sulphuric acid.

Tartaric acid is a white and crystalline active ingredient. This active ingredient is used in the food industry as:

  • Acidity regulator;

  • Aroma: it imparts sour and acidic notes;

  • A fermenting agent when combined with baking soda.

Beyond its industrial applications, tartaric acid has become a common ingredient in skincare products due to its keratolytic and astringent properties. It presents itself in the form of a crystalline powder. Being an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), tartaric acid is water-soluble and acts on the skin's surface. Its action primarily targets signs of ageing, blemishes, acne, as well as damage caused to the skin by the sun.

Tartaric Acid: In which skincare products can it be found?

Generally, tartaric acid is used at concentrations ranging between 1 and 10%. Tartaric acid is incorporated into the formulation of numerous skincare products: creams, masks, serums, toning lotions, cleansing gels, shampoos...It can be found in purifying treatments for oily and blemished skin, as well as in brightening and unifying treatments. However, it is particularly prevalent in peels.

Thetartaric acid can be combined with other alpha-hydroxy acids. Its exfoliating action is less irritating than that of other compounds. The depth of exfoliation depends on the concentration used and the length of time it is left on the skin.

Which Typology skincare product contains tartaric acid?

Our peeling mask (88% of ingredients of natural origin)is composed of an exfoliating complex (4 AHA + 1 PHA). This concentrated gel mask eliminates dead cells to unclog pores and refine skin texture. It is appliedtwice a week, in the evening only. This exfoliating treatment is recommended for tightening pores and evening out skin tone. It contains tartaric acid derived from tamarind, glycolic acid, mandelic acid and gluconolactone (10%).

How is it used? The treatment should be spread over the face to form a mask. This mask hardens and "sticks" to the skin during a 10-minute application period that must be adhered to. This adherence to the skin allows the mask to work, as it is during this resting phase that the mask's ingredients take effect.


  • VAN SCOTT E. J. & al. Alpha-hydroxyacids and carboxylic acids. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2004).

  • ABELS C. & al. Cosmetic and dermatologic use of alpha hydroxy acids. Journal of the German Society of Dermatology (2012).


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