Succinic Acid

Succinic acid; Butanedioic acid

Succinic acid, also known butanedioic acid, is a crystalline, colorless, aliphatic dicarboxylic acid that is a metabolic intermediate in both the citric acid cycle and the urea cycle.  The formation of succinic acid is due to the oxidation of succinyl-CoA, which in turn results from the metabolic process of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Succinic acid can be further metabolized in the process to either generate energy or be converted into other compounds such as glucose or amino acids.

As can be seen from its name, succinic acid owes its name to amber, which is a so-called gemstone containing succinic acid.  In addition to butanedioic acid occurring in the organism, the acid can also be found in nature. It is found in a variety of plant juices as well as in fungi and algae.


Succinic acid and its uses

Butanedioic acid is used in several areas. On the one hand, it is used as a food additive (E363) and, on the other hand, as a flavor enhancer for dishes such as desserts or dried soups due to its mildly sour and at the same time salty taste. It is also used as a solvent and plasticizer for plastics and waxes, and is also becoming increasingly popular in the cosmetics industry. Until deep into the 20th century, butanedioic acid was likewise utilized as a medicine, which was utilized to treat catarrh and syphilis.


 Butanedioic acid in cosmetics

In the cosmetics and skin care industry, succinic acid is used as a natural ingredient in various products such as moisturizers, face creams and serums. Succinic acid is a natural compound that finds use in cosmetics as a humectant as well as moisturizer. A humectant describes a substance that helps retain moisture in the skin by absorbing water molecules from the air. This phenomenon is known as the hygroscopic effect and makes the skin’s appearance fresh and young.

Butanedioic acid also exhibits anti-inflammatory as well as antimicrobial properties, which makes it a useful ingredient in skin care products for people with inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and especially acne conditions.  In addition, some studies suggest that due to its support of cell renewal as well as its antioxidant effects, succinic acid can help soften fine lines and wrinkles. As a result, the face appears firmer and younger.

Succinic acid can also be used as a natural exfoliant as it helps remove dead skin cells. It is also used in hair care products to improve scalp and hair health. Butanedioic acid is considered a safe and effective ingredient in cosmetics and skin care products. People with sensitive skin can also rely on the raw material, as it is particularly well tolerated by the skin due to its endogenous production.


Fact Sheet: Butanedioic acid

INCI: Succinic Acid

CAS No.: 110 – 15 – 6

Other names: Butanedioic acid, E363

Molecular Formula: C4H6O4

Boiling point: 235 °C

Properties: exists as a colorless and odorless crystalline solid


We like to work with these raw materials containing butanedioic acid:

Trade NameCompany NameINCI Comment
Vita Soft PeelQUIMIVITA PRODUCTS SLSuccinic Acid
Vita Cell RenovaQUIMIVITA PRODUCTS SLMandelic Acid, Succinic Acid, Tartaric Acid
IceAwakeMibelle AG BiochemistrySuccinic Acid, Maltodextrin, Aqua
Vita CatiogelQUIMIVITA PRODUCTS SLCeratonia Siliqua (Carob) Gum, Arginine, Succinic Acid
CARNOXYNSharon Laboratories LtdAqua, Carnitine Fumarate, Sodium Pyruvate, Succinic Acid, Citric Acid
SHICONIX Liquid AB (N)ICHIMARU PHARCOS CO., LTD.Lithospermum Officinale Extract, Water, Butylene Glycol, Succinic Acid, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Aluminum Chloride
Naturall-e d-Alpha Tocopheryl Succinate 1162IUMatrix Life ScienceTocopheryl Succinate
IMWITOR 780 KCremer CareIsostearyl Diglyceryl Succinate


High quality cosmetics with succinic acid from Cosmacon

Succinic acid as an organic acid is an attractive raw material due to its wide range of applications. It has benefits in the food context as well as in the technical and cosmetic fields. The cosmetics industry in particular has great expectations of butanedioic acid, as it is well tolerated due to its synthesis in the body and its special properties make it an extremely useful active ingredient in the field of anti-aging and acne-prone skin. Cosmacon will be happy to develop appropriate, high-quality formulations for you on request. Ask today for a non-binding consultation.




 An Overview of the Diagnosis and Management of Seborrheic Dermatitis.; Dall’Oglio F, Nasca MR, Gerbino C, Micali G. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2022 Aug 6;15:1537-1548.

Succinic Acid: Technology Development and Commercialization.; Nghiem NP, Kleff S, Schwegmann S. Fermentation. 2017; 3(2):26

Staphylococcus epidermidis in the human skin microbiome mediates fermentation to inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes: implications of probiotics in acne vulgaris.; Wang Y, Kuo S, Shu M, Yu J, Huang S, Dai A, Two A, Gallo RL, Huang CM.Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Jan;98(1):411-2