A natural substance that is found in varying amounts in several citrus fruits, citric acid is highly beneficial for our health, especially our skin. Some of the widespread natural sources of citric acid include limes, lemons, oranges and grapefruit. Citric acid has a bitter flavour which makes it a common and excellent additive in various foods and beverages. It is also used in many skin-care products for its therapeutic properties.
Generally citric acid is produced as a powder, which dissolves or mixes easily into various liquids, producing a helpful acid. The concentration of citric acid is very high in lemons and limes and it is responsible for their bitter flavour. The concentration of this valuable acid is high even in oranges and tangerines, but much lower compared to the bitter-flavoured citrus fruits. Certain types of berries also enclose citric acid, especially blackberries and raspberries.
Citric acid possesses the aptitude to bind easily to metals and minerals via a process known as chelation. Therefore, it is helpful if you take certain minerals together with citric acid, as it will facilitate the body to absorb chelated minerals. For instance, a number of calcium supplements are available as calcium citrate and our body is able to digest them better compared to taking calcium separately.
Citric acid's ability to bind with various minerals also makes it useful for softening water. In fact, soaps and detergent containing citric acid have been found to be more effective. Citric acid can also be effective when used as an ingredient in shampoos, since it has a propensity to eliminate surplus minerals present in the water. Nevertheless, occasionally, high concentration of this acid may even be harmful for our hair, as it opens up the hair cuticles. In other words, citric acid can remove the necessary minerals from the hair and bleach it.
These days citric acid is used as an ingredient in various cleaning products as well as some beauty products. Bath tablets and bath fizzes can be made by blending citric acid with sodium bicarbonate. Blending these two substances produce carbon dioxide (CO2), as this produces enjoyable effervescent water.
Citric acid is widely used as an ingredient in some lotions and skin masks. It is believed that the antioxidant property of citric acid is helpful for invigorating the skin and making aging skin look fresh by encouraging growth of new skin calls and, at the same time, by annihilating the detrimental free radicals. On the other hand, exposure to excessive citric acid may result in mild skin irritation.
In effect, citric acid is useful for improving the health of our skin cells and this, in turn, encourages healing as well as enhances the skin's ability to protect itself against various detrimental environmental factors.
Numerous people daily use citric acid in their soaps, cleansers, moisturizers, toners and hair care products. In fact, many even use them in their cosmetics. However, most are unaware of the fact that they are using this valuable acid. In addition, citric acid is also important for guaranteeing the preferred colors from several hair dyes.
Citric acid belongs to the alpha hydroxy acid family. Acids in this class are commonly used as ingredients in skin care products which are especially made to make the complexion more lustrous by exfoliating the skin. When the appropriate dose of citric acid is added to the skin, it disintegrates the protein bonds that exist between the living and dead skin cells. As a result, the old and worn-out cells are shed by the skin.
All alpha hydroxy acids, including citric acid, are also found in over-the-counter (OTC) products as well as clinical chemical peels often used for resurfacing the complexion by getting rid of wrinkles, fine lines, scars and discoloration of the skin. As citric acid helps to get rid of the dead cells, which usually block the sweat pores, it is also helpful for people who may be suffering from enlarged skin pores or acne.
Citric acid is considered to be a natural antioxidant, which possesses the ability to successfully treat the horrible age spots. Citric acid is also widely used by the skin care industry for its skin lightening and astringent attributes.
Antioxidants enclosed by the citric acid help to reduce the damages caused by detrimental free radicals. When the free radicals are inhibited or eliminated it automatically puts off aging signs from appearing.