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Associations actifs avec l'acide tartrique.

Tartaric Acid: Are there beneficial active ingredient combinations?

Tartaric acid, a natural and crystalline organic acid, is found in many plants, such as tamarind and grapes. It is one of the main acids in wine. It belongs to the family of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) used to combat dull complexion and hyperpigmentation, along with lactic acid and glycolic acid. This article focuses on the beneficial skin combinations that can be achieved with tartaric acid.

As a preamble, let's revisit some facts about tartaric acid.

Also known astartaric acid and 2,3-dihydroxysuccinic acid, tartaric acid appears as a white, crystalline powder. As its name suggests, it is derived from "acidic" fruits such as grapes and tamarinds. This dicarboxylic acid is derived from succinic acid. In the 18th century, it was first isolated from grapes by Carl Wilhem SCHEEL, a Swedish apothecary.

It has a brightening effect and enhances the skin's luminosity. It acts on accelerating cell renewal as well as stimulating the synthesis of collagen and elastin. Thanks to its astringent and keratolytic virtues, the tartaric acid is commonly used in skincare.

Which other active ingredients should tartaric acid be combined with?

  • To the other exfoliating AHAs.

    Tartaric acid is typically used at concentrations ranging from 1 to 10%, often combined with other alpha-hydroxy acids (citric, lactic, glycolic, malic...) within the same product. It can also be beneficial to apply multiple treatments each containing a single type of AHA. As a reminder, AHAs are keratin modulators. In other words, they normalize keratinization by accelerating the formation of new cells, while promoting desquamation (synonymous with exfoliation). The combination of tartaric acid with these other AHAs allows for the following benefits:

    • Atténuer l’apparence des rides et des ridules ;

    • Favoriser l’hydratation de la peau ;

    • Éclaircir le teint ;

    • Diminuer l’intensité des taches pigmentaires.

    Therefore, combining AHA's allows for a complementary action and greater effectiveness. However, be cautious, these combinations of different AHA's are not suitable for all skin types.They are strongly discouraged for sensitive skin and/or skin with conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.

  • Regarding certain hydrating active ingredients.

    Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), such as tartaric acid, help to exfoliate the skin to unclog pores, remove dead cells, and restore radiance. However, they can slightly dehydrate the epidermis. Therefore, it is recommended to use a treatment based onhyaluronic acid or even polyglutamic acid to keep the skin well hydrated.

Discover our peeling mask, a treatment that combines four different AHAs.

Our peeling mask (88% of ingredients of natural origin)is composed of an exfoliating complex (4 AHA + 1 PHA). It contains tartaric acid derived from tamarind, glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and lavender extract. This concentrated gel mask eliminates dead cells to unclog pores and refine skin texture. We recommend using our exfoliating mask with tartaric acid before going to bed. Indeed, the renewal of skin cells is more dynamic at night, during sleep.


  • VAN SCOTT E. J. & al. Alpha-hydroxyacids and carboxylic acids. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2004).

  • ABELS C. & al. Cosmetic and dermatologic use of alpha hydroxy acids. Journal of the German Society of Dermatology (2012).


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