What is it?
Malic acid is a tart-tasting organic dicarboxylic acid that contributes to the taste of many sour or tart foods such as apples. Sodium Malate is the sodium salt of Malic Acid. Malic Acid and Sodium Malate can be found in a wide range of cosmetics and personal care products.
Malic Acid is included on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) list of direct food substances that are affirmed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS
). Malic Acid is not considered GRAS
for use in baby food.
The safety of Malic Acid, and Sodium Malate, has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review
(CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Malic Acid and Sodium Malate were safe for use as pH adjusters
in cosmetic formulations. The CIR Expert Panel determined that the data were insufficient to determine safety of these ingredients for other functions.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
Malic Acid and Sodium Malate are used primarily to control the pH
of cosmetic products.
Malic Acid is an organic acid which can be prepared by fermentation from natural sugars. The naturally occurring form of Malic Acid can be found in unripe apples and other fruits. Malic acid can make a wine taste tart, although the amount decreases with increasing fruit ripeness. The process of malolactic fermentation converts Malic Acid to much milder lactic acid.