tartaric acid

Tartaric acid is a naturally-occurring crystalline organic acid found in many plants, including grapes and tamarinds. It is one of the chief acids in wine. Tartaric acid has antioxidant properties and is an alpha hydroxy acid, though it is not as well-researched when it comes to skin benefits as glycolic and lactic acids, and is also believed to be not as stable.

Interestingly, in vitro studies have shown that when tartaric acid is broken down into derivatives known as tartramides, its chemical structure mimics that of skin’s own ceramides. In a lab setting, these tartramides were shown to successfully replace ceramides in a model of skin’s lipid matrix; however, it’s unknown if this benefit also occurs on intact skin via cosmetic products.

References for this information:

Molecules, April 2018, ePublication; and February 2010, pages 824-833
Journal of the German Society of Dermatology, July 2012, pages 488-491
Skin Therapy Letter, November-December 2008, pages 5-9


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