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What Is Sodium Chloride?
You probably know sodium chloride by another name – and you most likely eat some of it every day! That’s right, sodium chloride is also known as common table salt. And the sodium chloride that’s found in skincare products is chemically identical to the salt that you’ll sprinkle over your dinner and find in pre-packaged foods.
Sodium chloride is used as a condiment, a baking ingredient, and as a food preservative. In fact, 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 found in an enormous variety of products, ranging from lotions to ointments, sunscreen, facial masks, and much more.
Uses & Benefits Of Sodium Chloride In Skincare
Wondering about sodium chloride skin benefits, or how it’s used? Let’s discuss a few of the top benefits of sodium chloride in skincare now, and give you an overview of the basics.
- Binder – Sodium chloride readily absorbs water and then swells up, so it’s able to hold other molecules and compounds together effectively. It’s commonly used in skincare and hair care products as a binder.
- Thickening agent – 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.
- Preservative – 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.
- Exfoliant – Since sodium chloride consists of small, crystalline particles, this ingredient is often used in gentle abrasive products including body and facial scrubs and exfoliating face washes. Sodium chloride can help remove oil, dirt, makeup, and other impurities, exfoliating the top layers of skin and leaving behind clean, clear skin.
Sodium chloride is popular in makeup products such as foundation, concealer, lipstick, and BB cream. But you’ll also find it 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, you don’t need to worry if you see sodium chloride in your face wash.
Is Sodium Chloride Vegan?
Yes. Sodium chloride is a naturally-occurring mineral. No animals are used or harmed in the production process. It’s vegan and cruelty-free. As always, make sure to double-check brand information and product packaging when shopping for vegan skincare products.
Is Sodium Chloride Safe In Skincare?
Yes. Table salt is consumed in large amounts by just about everyone in the world. Sodium chloride is completely safe and non-toxic when used in cosmetic products, skincare products, and hair care products. According to the EWG, it’s rated a 1 out of a 1-10 scale for safety, with 1 being the lowest rating and 10 being the highest.
There are no other major concerns for sodium chloride. It can be a mild irritant of the skin and eyes when highly concentrated, but only very low concentrations are typically used in skincare products. You don’t need to worry if you see this as an ingredient in your favorite skincare products.
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.