Anisic Acid – How to work with this easy to use natural multifunctional

Anisic Acid is a powerful antimicrobial against yeasts and molds at a skin-neutral pH value of 5.5.

Originating from Star Anise, our Cosphaderm® pAS natural is sourced from 100% natural and sustainable sources and COSMOS-approved. Besides its outstanding antimicrobial properties, Anisic Acid is mild and skin friendly, as well as odourless. Therefore, it is the first choice for baby care.

See all the outstanding characteristics and the easiest workflow of this powerful natural multifunctional in this video:
How does the Anisic Acid work and how is it applicable in the best way? 

This acid can pass through the membrane of yeasts and moulds, reducing the inner pH value that finally causes cell death. Anisic Acid is really making cosmetics uncomfortable for germs, and attractive to consumers at the same time.

Since Anisic Acid can crystallise at lower pH values, it might be difficult to incorporate it so it remains in solution at a pH value at which it is antimicrobial effective.

How to Checklist to incorporate Anisic Acid

The key is the acid-salt balance: that means, the higher the pH value, the more salt it contains and the better the solubility, but worse the antimicrobial effect. The lower the pH value, the higher the acid content and the worse the solubility in water – but only at low acidic pH-values, there is an antimicrobial effect.

To ensure that the acid stays in solution, add the anisic acid while stirring and heating to about 50 °C and by adding diluted NaOH solution, the pH value is increased to about pH 9-10, and thus the solubility of the anisic acid is improved. At this high pH value, the acid is now mainly present as anisate, and it is perfectly dissolved.

To reach the antimicrobial effective range, meaning when the anisic acid is again present as free acid, the pH value must be lowered.

To avoid crystallisation of the acid when the pH is lowered, dilute HCl (1 %) or dilute Citric Acid (20 %) has to be added slowly and carefully until the pH value of pH 5.5 is achieved, which corresponds to the target pH value.

This simple trick, improves the solubility, easy processing is possible, and it prevents crystallisation. Because of this way of application, Cosphaderm® pAS natural can be used in virtually any cosmetic formulation.

Additionally, to protect your cosmetic product also against bacteria, a combination with levulinic acid like our Cosphaderm® LA-T is recommended.