The Benefits of Succinic Acid

Products containing Succinic Acid

There are only a few skincare ingredients hailed as true heroes in the fight against acne, namely retinoids, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. However, there is one lesser-known ingredient that not only tackles one of the world’s most common skin concerns but does it gently. It’s succinic acid.

Succinic acid is a naturally occurring compound derived from amber or sugar cane, that boasts powerful antioxidant properties, helping to correct and protect skin from free radical damage. In recent years, a synthetic version of succinic acid has been created, making the ingredient more available, more sustainable, and more cost-effective.

Unlike most acids, succinic acid does not have chemical exfoliating properties and is instead more closely aligned with hyaluronic acid.

One main reason succinic acid is hailed as a great contender in the fight against acne is its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which help calm the skin and promote wound healing. It also controls bacteria levels in the skin and balances oil production, reducing the likelihood of clogged pores and break outs.

In addition to treating acne, succinic acid boasts anti-ageing benefits. It boosts skin cell turnover which encourages increased collagen production, maintaining skin elasticity and firmness, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Succinic acid also has a very similar structure to our skin’s own lipids, acting as an effective hydrator. Furthermore, it helps restore the skin’s natural pH levels, ensuring skin is neither too dry nor too oily.

While succinic acid boasts several skincare benefits, the number of products containing the hero ingredient is currently quite limited. Below are a few of our favourites.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser

An Elemis bestseller for well over a decade, the Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser effectively removes dirt, make up, and impurities to deeply clean the skin without stripping it of essential moisture. The gel cleanser is formulated with a trio of acids – succinic acid, lactic acid, and ferulic acid – and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and copper, to boost collagen production, fight free radical damage, balance oil production, minimise the appearance of fine lines, gently exfoliate, and hydrate.

The Inkey List Succinic Acid Treatment

The Inkey List’s Succinic Acid Treatment is a gentle treatment that reduces inflammation and clears blemishes quickly.

Its impressive formula features 2% succinic acid combined with 2% sulfur and 1% salicylic acid to help shrink blemishes and blackheads, reduce excess oil production, unblock pores, and prevent them from clogging again after use. Complete with hyaluronic acid to deliver a hit of hydration, the cream layers seamlessly beneath makeup without drying or flaking, making it perfect for everyday use.

Face Gym Skin Changer

Skin Changer is a fast, effective, and skin-barrier friendly 2-in-1 exfoliating essence-toner that targets congestion, blemishes, dullness, and dehydration in one application.

It features 2% succinic acid, quince leaf extract, and upcycled pumpkin extract, a powerful trio that work together to gently exfoliate and remove dead skin cells, unclogging pores and promoting cell renewal for clearer and brighter skin. A restorative combination of amino acids, magnesium, and glycogen is also included to hydrate and moisturise, leaving skin soft and plump.

Perricone MD Blemish Relief Calming Treatment & Hydrator

With an infusion of potent lactic and succinic acids, the Blemish Relief Calming Treatment & Hydrator supports the normal function of the skin’s microbiome.

The treatment works to eliminate the bacteria responsible for blemishes and breakouts, providing a perfectly cleansed and healthy complexion. Citrulline, an alpha-amino acid, calms redness, while niacinamide visibly minimises the look of active blemishes and pimples. Niacinamide also helps to maintain the normal moisture levels of the skin, working in partnership with non-comedogenic squalane to bring long-lasting hydration.

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