What Is Phytic Acid
Phytic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from grains, legumes, and rice. Its chemical name is Inositol hexakisphosphate and is present mainly in cereal grains. In recent years, its use in skin care products has increased because of its excellent efficacy and safety profile. Unlike most AHAs, it does not have specific exfoliation properties but is used in skincare for its antioxidant effects.
Phytic acid is similar to glycolic and lactic acid but varies slightly in its effects. While glycolic and lactic acid work by causing chemical exfoliation of the skin, phytic acid is considered the most gentle of the three, and causes little exfoliation or irritation. Because phytic acid functions more as an antioxidant than a true exfoliating agent, it is less irritating to the skin.
When phytic acid is combined with glycolic acid, this produces a powerful combination in products, such as toners or peels, offering maximum benefit.
Phytic acid is ideal for someone with acne or prone to blackheads as it helps to clear out and shrink pores, while also contributes to skin brightening following post-inflammatory lesions. Phytic acid absorbs excess calcium on the surface of the skin, which would otherwise contribute to clogged pores.
Phytic acid is also an antioxidant. It works as a free radical scavenger, preventing havoc-creating molecules from damaging your body and skin. As a recap, free radicals are molecules that have lost an electron and scavenge through your body in search of their pair. The antioxidant properties of phytic acid contribute one electron to these molecules and prevent them from damaging your skin.
Being an AHA, phytic acid possesses exfoliative properties. It’s a milder version of glycolic acid, allowing it to shed off dead skin buildup, but in a gentle way. This can reduce the appearance of signs of aging.
Phytic acid is also used in the form of chemical peels to reduce melasma and scarring. The peeling action of phytic acid does not need neutralization after application. It is a slow-release agent, allowing progressive actuation of its acid properties, and is non-aggressive when compared with glycolic acid.
An interesting fact about phytic acid is that it is a chelator, meaning it holds the ability to absorb (or chelate) certain minerals. This may seem to be a disadvantage at first but is indeed a blessing in disguise when it comes to skincare. In general, minerals are essential for good health, but specific ones can have a negative impact on the skin when they become too abundant. Phytic acid absorbs iron molecules in the skin, which are to be blamed for causing damage to the body’s DNA.
Phytic acid is naturally found in the following foods:
Grains: such as whole wheat, oats, and rice
Legumes: such as black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, soybeans, peanuts, and lentils
Nuts and seeds: such as walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, and sesame seeds
Tubers: such as potatoes, turnips, beets, and carrots
Cooking, soaking, and fermenting can reduce the amount of phytic acid in foods. Eating a well-balanced diet helps to ensure that you are not ingesting too much phytic acid.
Our Skincare Top Picks
Brightening peel booster
Non-oily, renewing and clarifying gel based on a synergic combination of glycolic acid and phytic acid. Glycolic acid has effective exfoliating and regenerating properties which produce mild flaking, reducing the stratum corneum and boosting the antioxidant and depigmenting effects of the phytic acid. It reduces melanogenic activity for a more even complexion.
Brightening peel booster significantly improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture and reactivate cell renewal while reducing pigment-based lesions and blemishes. Pores are visibly smaller and dyschromia fades, leaving the skin lighter and glowing, with an even tone.
Light Ceutic gently exfoliates the skin and reduces the appearance of pigment spots thanks to the combined action of glycolic acid, phytic acid, and vitamin C. This exfoliation process allows the skin to naturally regenerate overnight. For irregular and dull complexion and all skin types. This 4% Phytic acid solution works as a lightening and antioxidant agent that has a synergic action to brighten the complexion when used with glycolic acid.
Best for: irregular and dull complexion