Succinic acid: a promising multi-functional ingredient for cosmetic and personal-care applications


*Corresponding author
1. Reverdia, Geleen, the Netherlands
2. Bonderalia Italia Srl, Varese, Italy


Formulators of cosmetic and personal-care products are on an endless quest for new and innovative ingredients that are effective, safe and sustainable.

Traditionally, Succinic Acid was produced synthetically (from fossil oil) or by distillation of amber (expensive), and therefore it is not yet extensively used as an ingredient in the industry. However, with the introduction of affordable, 100% natural succinic acid the interest for this raw material in cosmetics and personal care has strongly increased.

Furthermore, research shows that succinic acid can deliver multiple benefits when used in topical products. This paper highlights a number some of reported topical uses of succinic acid, as well as results of preliminary studies demonstrating the anti-microbial activity of Biosuccinium® S, a 100% natural succinic acid.


It is estimated that the global personal-care market will be worth approximately USD 550 billion in 2020 with an annual growth of 3.5-4.5% (1).

The industry has been seeing a steady increase in demand for greener and more sustainable ingredients.

Green Chemistry has been playing a major role to provide cosmetic ingredients that are no longer based on non-renewable resources, e.g. petroleum, but on sustainable and renewable biomasses.

The publication of the principles of Green Chemistry in 1998 (2) was soon followed by a plethora of studies setting the foundations for the future manufacture of greener chemicals.

Traditionally distilled from amber, Succinic Acid was then commercially derived from petroleum (3).

However, studies on its production from microbial conversion of glucose have been published since the late 1990’s (4).

BIOSUCCINIUM® S (INCI: Succinic Acid) is a 100% natural, ECOCERT-certified ingredient derived from non-GM, renewable vegetable feedstock. 

It is readily biodegradable (OECD 301 E) and has shown a favourable toxicological profile.

The present ar ...