Sodium chloride may sound like a scary chemical when listed on the back of a skin care product, but there isn’t any need to worry. In fact, most people eat this ingredient every day!
So sodium chloride can be useful in cooking, but what is it doing in skincare products? Let’s take a deeper look.
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What Is Sodium Chloride?
Sodium chloride is common table salt. The same very ingredient that sits next to the pepper and makes food taste good. The sodium chloride in skincare products is chemically identical to the salt added to dinner and in pre-packaged foods.
Sodium chloride is popular as a condiment, a baking ingredient, skin care ingredient, and as a food preservative. Salt is one of the oldest preservatives in the world! Ancient civilizations used it to dehydrate and preserve meats and other foods for a longer shelf life before refrigeration. It’s also an essential nutrient for most animals, humans included.
Sodium chloride is prized for its preservative effects, and also has some other unique benefits and uses. It’s in an enormous variety of products, ranging from lotions to ointments, sunscreen, facial masks, and much more. Other forms of salt such as potassium sorbate are also in skincare products for preservative benefits.
Sodium Chloride Benefits for Skin
Wondering about sodium chloride can do the for skin? Sodium chloride offers a handful of skin benefits. It helps ingredient bind together, is a thickening agent, preservative, and can be an exfoliant.
Sodium chloride readily absorbs water and then swells up, so it’s able to hold other molecules and compounds together effectively. It’s often in skincare and hair care products as a binder.
The way that sodium ions interact with water and surfactants in shampoo and facial cleansers helps thicken the product and provide it with a pleasant texture.
Sodium chloride is a natural preservative, and has been used in this capacity for thousands of years. Along with other preservatives, it helps prevent the growth of yeast, mold, bacteria, and other undesirable organisms in cosmetic products.
Since sodium chloride consists of small, crystalline particles, this ingredient is often in gentle abrasive products including body and facial scrubs and exfoliating face washes. It can help remove oil, dirt, makeup, and other impurities, exfoliating the top layers of skin and leaving behind clean, clear skin.
Sodium Chloride Uses for Skin
Sodium chloride is popular in makeup products such as foundation, concealer, lipstick, and BB cream. But it’s also in face wash, moisturizers, sunscreen, serums, and facial treatments. Top brands such as Beautycounter, Kiehl’s, Clinique, Drunk Elephant, and many more have products that use sodium chloride as an ingredient. In other words, don’t need to worry if you see sodium chloride in your face wash.
Frequently Asked Questions
Also Known As
Sodium chloride is also known as table salt or just “salt.” It may also be called rock salt, saline, sea salt, or halite. It’s also sometimes called NaCl.