Succinic Acid: The Skinny On Skin Care’s New Hero Ingredient

March 26, 2021

A skin saviour for sensitive, blemish-prone complexions has made its way into the routines of many North Americans—though it’s been a European beauty secret for a while, according to The INKEY List co-founder Mark Curry. Succinic acid is naturally found in amber, where its antimicrobial properties have been used for centuries in therapeutics. However, recent studies have highlighted its benefits for skin, making it one of 2021’s need-to-know ingredients. Once belonging to the exclusive formulas of “super-premium brands,” Curry says that succinic acid will soon be “right up there with the likes of retinol and vitamin C.” Get your own quick fix with the products below. —Anastasia Barbuzzi

Available exclusively at Sephora, The INKEY List’s new Succinic Acid Treatment targets imperfections with two per cent succinic acid whilst preventing pores from re-clogging. Paired with salicylic acid to cleanse and clarify and sulphur to mop up excess oil, the Succinic Acid Treatment attacks irritation and sources of acne on all fronts and simultaneously re-conditions. It’s also the perfect product for those with eczema-prone skin who find traditional blemish treatments too harsh or drying.

Using an acid exfoliation trio of raspberry vinegar, glutamic acid and succinic acid, Ayuna’s The Facial Low balances all skin types and promotes even-toned radiance below the epidermis. Designed for daily use, this part refining serum, part smoothing toner helps maintain skin microbiota with prebiotic noni fruit stem cells which impart a post-facial glow all year round.

British beauty brand Elemis’s Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser invigorates and revives the skin with an anti-aging blend of succinic, lactic, and ferulic acid. Mixed with mineral-rich magnesium, zinc, and copper to encourage the skin’s vitality, padina pavonica, a brown algae found on the Mediterranean coast known to support the feeling of hydration, rebalances the complexion. This luxurious gel cleanser builds to a soft, rich lather that easily lifts away makeup and grime without stripping the skin of essential moisture as well.


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