Tartaric acid is a natural keratolytic ingredient whose presence in skincare is becoming increasingly common. However, it is important to know when to use it to avoid side effects or other skin discomforts.
When to use tartaric acid?
- Tartaric Acid: What is it?
- When and how often should a tartaric acid treatment be applied?
- What types of skincare products contain tartaric acid?
- Discover our tartaric acid peeling mask
Tartaric Acid: What is it?
Also known astartaric acidand2,3-dihydroxysuccinic acid, thetartaric acid is widely found in nature. It can be found in vines, grapes, and vine leaves, but also in dandelions, sugar beets, and many fruits.Therefore, tartaric acid is part of the fruit acids family: thealpha-hydroxy acids.In the 18th century, it was first isolated from grapes by Carl Wilhelm SCHEEL, a Swedish apothecary. Since the mid-20th century, it can be produced from the residues of wine production, using sulphuric acid.
It is commonly used in the food industry to enhance the taste of sweets, ice creams, and juices, among other things. Beyond its industrial uses, the tartaric acid has become a common ingredient in skincare products due to its keratolytic and astringent properties. It comes in the form of a crystalline powder.Its action primarily targets signs of ageing, blemishes, acne, as well as damage caused to the skin by the sun.
When and how often should a tartaric acid treatment be applied?
There are several types of treatments containing tartaric acid in their composition. However, their use should be reasonable and limited. It is important to know that excessive use of alpha-hydroxy acid treatments such as tartaric acid can cause: local irritations; pain; an itching sensation; oedema; redness in the treated area. Therefore, follow these tips to avoid this.
It is advisable to use it during the evening daily routine to minimise any risk of photosensitisation. Indeed, tartaric acid increases the skin's sensitivity to the sun, thus the risk of sunburn. We also recommend consistently applying a SPF cream every morning and to limit or even avoid prolonged sun exposure, as long as you are using a product containing tartaric acid and up to a week after its last application.
In the same vein, it is preferable to apply products containing tartaric acid in autumn/winter, rather than in the summer period. However, it remains possible to start or continue applying tartaric acid solutions during sunny episodes (spring and summer), provided of course that it is combined with a minimum SPF30 sun protection and avoiding the sun as much as possible.
The frequency of use depends on your skin type, skin tolerance level, as well as your needs and expectations. We advise you to start at spaced intervals, such as every other night or even every three nights, then increase the frequency after one to two weeks if your skin tolerates this active ingredient well. It is normal to temporarily feel a slight sensation of warmth, some tingling or a slight dryness of the skin during the first few days. If your skin is naturally dry or if you are applying a tartaric acid treatment for the first time, start with a treatment with a low concentration so that your skin can adjust (around 5%).
It is recommended to apply it onlyonce a day. This is to avoid all the side effects mentioned above.
What types of skincare products contain tartaric acid?
Generally, tartaric acid is used at concentrations ranging between 1 and 10%. Thetartaric acid is included in the formulation of numerous skincare products: creams, masks, serums, toners, 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.
Tartaric 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 duration of application on the skin.
Discover our tartaric acid peeling mask.
Our peeling mask (88% natural origin ingredients)is composed of an exfoliating complex (4 AHA + 1 PHA). This concentrated gel mask eliminates dead skin cells to unclog pores and refine skin texture. It is applied twice 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.