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Acide tartrique et pores dilatés.

Enlarged Pores and Tartaric Acid: What are the Effects?

Tartaric acid is attributed with numerous benefits for the skin, one of which is the tightening of enlarged pores. How does tartaric acid act on enlarged pores to tighten them?

Tartaric Acid: What is it?

Also known asthrearic acidand2,3-dihydroxysuccinic acid, tartaric acid is widely found in nature. It is present in vines, grapes, and vine leaves, as well as in dandelions, sugar beets, and many fruits. Therefore, tartaric acid belongs to the family of fruit acids: the alpha-hydroxy acids. 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 sulfuric acid.

Tartaric acid is commonly used in the food industry to enhance the taste of candies, 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 aging, spots, acne, as well as damage caused to the skin by the sun.

What causes pore dilation?

As their name suggests, the pores distribute the sebum across the surface of the epidermis to moisturize the skin. They are located all over the body with a few exceptions such as the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. They are connected to the sebaceous glands. These glands are generally attached to hairs (hair follicles), but there are some areas where they are not (such as the areola of the nipples and eyelids, for example).

Pores can become unsightly when they are enlarged, giving the appearance of an uneven skin texture. According to a study, skin pores are referred to as "visible" and "enlarged" when their diameter fluctuates between 0.06 and 0.1 mm.

Pores expand for a variety of reasons. This phenomenon is typically accompanied by the appearance of blackheads. Blackheads, as well as dilated pores, are most often visible on oily, combination, or blemished skin. They primarily appear on the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), the areas of the face where the skin is greasiest.

Two types of causes are responsible for enlarged pores:

  • Internal Causes: Sex, genetic predisposition, skin aging, overproduction of sebum (hyperseborrhea), hormonal fluctuations;

  • External causes: Chronic exposure to UV rays, use of comedogenic xenobiotics, poor skin hygiene (accumulation of dirt and impurities on the skin's surface).

The effect of tartaric acid on enlarged pores.

Tartaric acid serves as an ally for oily skin and acne-prone skin. Its primary property is to be keratolytic, thus preventing the accumulation of cellular waste on the surface of the epidermis. Indeed, through simple contact and without friction, tartaric acid weakens the lipid bonds between the cells of the horny layer, thereby freeing the skin from its layer of dead cells. This property gradually eliminates pore obstruction and promotes the evacuation of sebum.

Our peeling mask (88% natural origin ingredients) is composed of an exfoliating complex (4 AHA + 1 PHA). It contains tartaric acid derived from tamarind, glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and gluconolactone. 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.


  • CHUNG K. & al. Sebum output as a factor contributing to the size of facial pores. British Journal of Dermatology (2006).

  • SEO S. J. & al. Facial pores: definition, causes, and treatment options. Dermatologic Surgery (2015).


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