The thing about skincare ingredients is that they only become popular when the beauty community starts explicitly talking about them. Case in point: Succinic acid. This antibacterial, antioxidant and antimicrobial ingredient has been used in skincare products for a long time. But it was only when brands, and consumers, started to focus on its specific properties, they figured that the ingredient may hold multiple benefits on its own and work wonders for a particular skin type.

Yep, succinic has been touted as a godsend for sensitive, acne-prone skin. Here’s everything you need to know about it…


01. What is succinic acid?

What is succinic acid?

A gentle exfoliator at its core, succinic acid is a naturally occurring ingredient often found in sugarcane and amber. It has been a staple in European beauty routines for many years and is used for medicinal purposes to fight skin infections. It works similarly to the otherwise massively popular salicylic acid but provides gentler exfoliation comparatively. This is why it is often recommended to people with sensitive and acne-prone skin, as it does not lead to irritation as other potent AHAs do.


02. What are the benefits of succinic acid?

What are the benefits of succinic acid?

Some of the significant benefits you can reap from the use of succinic acid are:

  • Exfoliation - As mentioned above, succinic acid helps gently slough off dead skin cells from your face, facilitates better absorption of other skincare products and helps you maintain a clear and glowing complexion.
  • Mattifying - Succinic acid has shown quick action in regulating the sebum production in your skin, thus getting rid of shininess and keeping your skin grease-free.
  • Acne control - Its antibacterial, pH-balancing, and antimicrobial properties help fight the effect of external aggressors on your skin and keep it breakout-free.
  • Anti-ageing - If your skin reacts badly to retinol (redness and cracking), succinic acid can be used in your anti-ageing routine instead. It encourages skin turnover and helps fade early signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Collagen maintenance - Succinic acid has been shown to inhibit collagen disintegration in the skin, helping it stay soft, supple and youthful-looking with regular use.

03. What is the best way to use succinic acid in skincare?

03. What is the best way to use succinic acid in skincare?

Succinic acid has a small molecular size, so it is best used in the form of serums or lightweight moisturisers. Like other exfoliators, it is necessary to follow up your routine with a broad spectrum to protect it from UV damage. The use of succinic acid should be preceded by a patch test on your arm because even when gentle, it can cause irritation on some overly sensitive skin types. The ingredient can also be used as a spot treatment or as a daily moisturiser because it is pretty hydrating in nature as well!