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Citric Acid, Anhydrous image
(EX. VAT) 500 g £5.99
Price: (inc. VAT) £7.19

Citric Acid, Anhydrous

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Most commonly used to make fizzy bath bombs, it can also be used to adjust the pH balance of creams and lotions, and especially shampoos and other hair products. It is also COSMOS approved.

A white crystalline powder with no aroma. It is a fine grade which makes it easier to work with and makes a much smoother surface bath bomb.

It occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables but is most concentrated in lemons and limes where it can be up to 8% of the fruit content. Read more about it here. This one is derived from Corn (non GMO) and is COSMOS approved. 

Commercially, it is often used as an environmentally benign cleaning agent but in cosmetic production it is frequently used as an antioxidant.

We regularly add oil soluble antioxidants to our vegetable oils to slow down oxidation and rancidity. We also add them to creams and lotions but in that sort of product, they're most efficient on the oil soluble parts of the formulation. Citric Acid is effective as an antioxidant in the water soluble parts of the formulation.

Inci:

Citric Acid
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (Cosing), the functions of Citric Acid are:

Buffering, Chelating, Masking

To view more information, visit the Cosing Database here.
Skin Care
When used at higher concentrations, it has typical AHA properties and can be used in anti-aging gels and peels.

When used in the lower amounts (0.1%), it can bind and neutralise minerals like magnesium, copper, zinc and calcium (a chelating effect) which will enhance the activity of antioxidants by preventing autoxidation.

When used in a cream or lotion, we want a pH around 5 to 6 - our skin is about 5.5.

Hair Care
Detergents are very alkaline and if not adjusted to a more skin friendly pH, can feel very tight and itchy on the scalp. For something like a hair care product, we want a pH around the pH of our hair, which is 5.6 to 6.2. The same applies to shower gels.

Add Citric Acid in very small amounts, after all other ingredients and essential oils have been added to move the pH to a more skin friendly level.

Works well in hair conditioners and hair packs as well but do not use too much as it can change the colour of your hair (not in a good way!).

Other
Use at 0.1% to 4%.

Be careful not to take the pH of a product below 3.5 as that is a peeling level acidity on the skin.

Water soluble so cannot be used in oil only formulations.

Suggested Blends
Often used in conjunction with Bicarbonate of Soda to make fizzy bath bombs.

Cautions/Contraindications
Citric Acid will sting if it gets into cuts or scratches on your skin and will also be very irritating to the eyes. This is relevant if you are making and moulding bath bombs or if working with children who may rub their eyes.
Bath Bombs
74% Sodium Bicarbonate
24% Citric Acid
2% Essential Oils of your choice
A few drops of Non Water Based (NWB) colours of your choice
100% Total

You will need some Witch Hazel Water when moulding the bath bombs as well as some moulds.

Method:
Sieve the Sodium Bicarbonate and the Citric Acid into a bowl and mix thoroughly until you have a consistent texture.

Add a few drops of the colour and blend through the mixture so that it is even, with no concentrated colour areas.

Add the essential oils into the mixture. Certain oils may start the mixture to fizz, so work quickly. Do not leave the mixture to stand or it may start to set hard.

Use a little Witch Hazel Water in a plant mister and spray VERY little onto the mix. This is just enough to hold it together and allows you to take a handful and compress it. It should hold the shape of your fist like wet sand would. DO NOT get it too wet.

Press it into moulds quickly and if making ball shapes press two moulds together to form the ball. For the spherical moulds, take one side off to allow the surface to dry slightly.

With tray moulds, turn out gently when the top surface has dried a little.

They are fragile at this point so handle very gently. Leave in a warm, dry place to harden up. Resist the temptation to handle them.

Use cellophane bags to package when they are hard or put small ones into a decorated jar as a gift idea.

Wash the moulds thoroughly after use.

Shea Butter Bath Bombs
68% Sodium Bicarbonate
22% Citric Acid
8% Shea Butter (frozen)
2% Essential Oils of your choice
A few more drops of Non Water Based (NWB) colours of your choice
100% Total

You will need some Witch Hazel Water when moulding the bath bombs as well as some moulds. Add dried Rose Petals or dried Lavender Flowers for decoration.

Method:
Sieve the Sodium Bicarbonate and the Citric Acid into a bowl and mix thoroughly until you have a consistent texture.

Add a few drops of the colour and blend through the mixture so that it is even, with no concentrated colour areas.

Take the Shea Butter from the freezer and grate into the mixture and mix again.

Add the essential oils into the mixture. Certain oils may start the mixture to fizz, so work quickly. Do not leave the mixture to stand or it may start to set hard.

Use a little Witch Hazel Water in a plant mister and spray VERY little onto the mix. This is just enough to hold it together and allows you to take a handful and compress it. It should holds the shape of your fist like wet sand would. DO NOT get it too wet. Sprinkle some dried Rose Petals or dried Lavender Flowers into the bottom of the tray moulds. Press the Shea Bomb mix into the moulds.

Turn out gently when the top surface has dried a little.

They are fragile at this point so handle very gently. Leave in a warm, dry place to harden up. Resist the temptation to handle them.

Use cellophane bags to package when they are hard or put small ones into a decorated jar as a gift idea.

Wash the moulds thoroughly after use.

For more information and guidance on making you own skin care products please see Aromantic's books and eBooks in our Publications section.

These notes are not meant to replace medical guidance and you should seek the advice of your doctor for your health matters. The formulae are given in good faith and are intended for educational purposes only. They have not been evaluated or tested in any way and Aromantic Ltd. makes no claim as to their effectiveness. It is up to the reader to ensure that any products they produce from these recipes are safe to use, and if relevant, compliant under current cosmetic regulations.
Historical Information
Citric Acid was first isolated by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm who crystallised it from lemon juice.

Mass production started in 1890 with the Italian fruit industry supplying the raw materials. By 1893, it was found that a form of penicillin mould could also produce citric acid but the natural fruit supply was abundanct and therefore cheaper. However, the first World War interrupted the supply chain and so a new way was needed to keep up the production.

By 1917, it was found that certain strains of the Aspergillus Niger mould could also produce Citric Acid very efficiently and this is still the mian manufacturing process used today.
 
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