What Is It?
Acetic Acid is an organic acid formed when ethanol is fermented. Vinegar is typically a 5% solution of Acetic Acid. Brown Rice Vinegar is the vinegar produced by the fermentation of unpolished brown rice. Natural Vinegars also contain small amounts of tartaric acid, citric acid and other acids. In cosmetics and personal care products, Acetic Acid, Vinegar and Brown Rice Vinegar are used in the formulation of hair conditioners, shampoos, hair rinses, wave sets and other hair care products. Acetic Acid is also used in mouthwashes and breath fresheners and Vinegar can be found in skin care products.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
Acetic Acid, Vinegar, and Brown Rice Vinegar are used to control the pH of cosmetics and personal care products.
Small amounts of Acetic Acid occur naturally in plant and animal tissues. Vinegar is a liquid consisting of dilute acetic acid (typically 5%) obtained by fermentation of ethanol. Brown Rice Vinegar is the vinegar produced by the fermentation of unpolished brown rice. All three can be used in the pickling of vegetables and other foodstuffs. When not diluted with water, Acetic Acid is called glacial acetic acid. Glacial acetic acid is corrosive.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Acetic Acid on its list of direct food substances considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). FDA considers Vinegar to be a common food ingredient safe for its intended use. The safety of Acetic Acid has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Acetic Acid was safe for use in cosmetic products.
More safety Information:
CIR Safety Review:
The CIR Expert Panel reviewed data that indicated that in the body, Acetic Acid is metabolized and eliminated from the body as carbon dioxide and water. Glacial acetic acid is highly corrosive to the eyes and skin. When Acetic Acid is diluted to the concentrations found in Vinegar and used in cosmetic products it is not irritating to the skin.
Based on the available data, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that Acetic Acid was safe for use in cosmetic products. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives conducted a toxicological evaluation of some antimicrobials, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilizers, flour-treatment agents and acids and bases, including Acetic Acid. The Committee concluded that since Acetic Acid has a sufficiently acid taste to limit the amount used in foods, it was not necessary to indicate acceptable daily intakes for humans. Also, residues of Acetic Acid on food treated with antimicrobial washing solutions did not pose a safety concern.
Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Acetic Acid and Vinegar http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr…
Acetic Acid, Vinegar, and Brown Rice Vinegar may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union.
Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm
More Scientific Information:
Acetic Acid is an organic acid also known as ethanoic acid. Depending on the concentration of Acetic Acid, the pH of Vinegar is typically in the range of 2 to 3.5. In cosmetics and personal care products, Acetic Acid, Vinegar, and Brown Rice Vinegar function as pH adjusters.
Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration
Food Ingredients and Packaging: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/default.htm
Food Contact Substances: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/default.htm
Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS): http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/default.htm
Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm
EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/