Sodium Hydroxide in Skin Care: Is It Safe?

April 11,2023

Is Sodium Hydroxide Safe for Skin Care?

One of the most prevalent chemicals in skincare products is sodium hydroxide. It's also known as "lye," and it keeps a product's pH stable.

Saponification also aids in the lathering of fats and oils into soap. Because it's a really basic substance, it's usually safe to use in tiny doses.

This contains an image of: Dead Skin Under Feet: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment


It Saponifies Oils

Sodium hydroxide is used to saponify oils, which makes soaps and cleansers lather. When added to a formula, it improves the product's functionality by keeping a balanced pH level.

While it may sound frightening, lye is actually safe when handled properly in soap-making. The procedure entails heating and mixing oil with an alkali, a chemical derived from either an animal or a plant. This chemical is sodium hydroxide in bar soap manufacture and potassium hydroxide in liquid soap making.

Because lye can be caustic, it should be used with oils in a ratio of no more than 1 to 4 percent. Lye might irritate your skin and eyes if it is not correctly blended. It's also extremely flammable and should never be handled with aluminum or tin containers, since these might cause harm to the material.

caustic soda lye is often added in low concentrations that are entirely consumed by the soap-making process when used in cosmetics. This guarantees that the lye's harshness is not present in the finished product.

In addition to lye, natural soaps are frequently prepared with vegetable oils, which include a variety of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are responsible for the soap's hardness, lather, cleaning, and moisturizing characteristics. The soap-making process may manage the distribution of PUFA and SFA in these oils, allowing the manufacturer to modify the hardness, scent, and sensory qualities of their product.

Palm oil, for example, contains Palmitic Acid, Oleic Acid, and Linoleic Acid at lower amounts. Palmitic acid adds some hardness, while Oleic and Linoleic Acid add softness.

Because these oils oxidize easily during the soap-making process, they must be mixed with a strong base, such as Sodium Hydroxide, to generate fatty acid metal salts. These fatty acid metal salts give soap its distinct qualities and set it apart from other soaps on the market.

The goal of this study was to see how feedstock composition affected the unsaponified fatty acid content of commercial natural soaps made by cold saponification. A control bar (BB), a hibiscus rosehip bar (H), and a woodland grove bar (F) were created (FG). Principal component analysis was used to examine the quantities of unsaponified fatty acids and their distribution in the final soaps after cold saponification. The association between oxidation status, phenolic content, and antioxidant activity was also investigated.

Sodium Hydroxide Skin Care: Soaps, Safety, and Side Effects


It Maintains the pH of a Product

As you are surely aware, the pH range of skin is typically between 4 and 7. (though it can fluctuate up to 14). Maintaining this acidity protects your skin from environmental aggressors such as allergies, pollution, and germs.

In skincare, sodium hydroxide is used to maintain the pH of the product regulated and to make it operate better on your skin. This is due to the fact that certain skin care chemicals require a specific pH to be effective.

The pH of many cleansers and leave-on exfoliants is important. This is because a healthy pH level allows the active component to do its work correctly, which can aid with things like decreasing fine lines and wrinkles and removing dead skin cells.

This is why many formulators may employ a little amount of this component in their formulations to help establish and maintain a product's desired pH. As a result, the pH of the product is always steady and safe for your skin.

It's worth noting that the majority of sodium hydroxide in skincare is diluted before being added to the finished product. As a result, when looking at the label, it can be difficult to tell how much the product includes.

As a result, it's always a good idea to spot-test the products you're thinking about buying to ensure they don't have excessive amounts of this chemical. This is especially true if you have sensitive or reactive skin, as sodium hydroxide can irritate and/or dry out your skin.

If you are still concerned, instead of using sodium hydroxide, consider a pH adjuster such as citric acid or baking soda. These will boost a product's pH, but they can also induce responses in people with sensitive skin.

The greatest thing you can do is to evaluate the pH stability of your cosmetics and other personal care items on a regular basis. Dip an electrode or a pH indicator paper into a dilution of the material to be tested and look for any color changes.

Although sodium hydroxide is not the most fun or calming item to consider, it is an excellent addition to your skincare routine since it can assist you in achieving the proper pH balance for your skin. This chemical can be found in your favorite cleansers, moisturizers, cosmetics, and hair products.

It’s Safe to Use Topically

Sodium hydroxide, sometimes known as lye or Caustic soda, is a frequent ingredient in many cosmetic and personal care products. It's also found in cleaning products such as soaps and detergents, as well as drain cleaners!

Although it is an irritant, when applied correctly, it is safe to use on your skin and around your eyes. It can be deadly to inhale, so avoid swallowing or breathing it in.

Wear latex gloves when handling na oh and avoid contact with any open wounds. If you get the material on your skin, wipe it off with water as soon as possible and get medical assistance if the irritation persists.

This is due to the fact that NaOH can cause severe burns to your skin and eyes. Sodium hydroxide can also be harmful to your respiratory system, producing breathing difficulties.

In addition to its numerous use in skin and body care products, sodium hydroxide is an important component of industrial manufacturing. It is widely utilized in the production of pulp and paper, textiles, drinking water, soaps and detergents, and drain cleaners.

Unlike pure sodium hydroxide, which is poisonous to humans at high concentrations and unsafe to handle, cosmetics and skin care products contain little of this ingredient and are therefore generally safe to use. However, before acquiring new things, it is still a good idea to examine the label.

Sodium Hydroxide in Skin Care, as a pH adjuster, can aid in the preservation of your skin's natural acid mantle. This is essential for the health of your skin because it retains moisture and protects it from environmental pollutants, bacteria, and viruses.

The skin's normal pH range is 4 to 7, with higher levels of acidity protecting it from hazardous substances. Using products that balance your skin's pH will increase suppleness, decrease fine lines and wrinkles, and help you obtain healthier skin.

If you want to test Sodium Hydroxide in Skin Care, seek for products that have gained the EWG VERIFIEDTM label. Based on our assessment of company data, these items meet stringent use limitations and warnings.

It’s Not Safe to Eat

Sodium hydroxide, sometimes known as lye, is a frequent ingredient in many items such as soaps, detergents, and cleaning supplies. However, this chemical compound has a terrible reputation in the skin care business for being caustic and potentially harmful, especially when applied in high doses.

Fortunately, the amount of sodium hydroxide used to skincare products is often so minimal and evaporates in the process that it is not toxic when used in tiny doses. It's still advisable completing a patch test on your skin to determine if it causes irritation, but it should be safe for the majority of individuals.

The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has allowed sodium hydroxide as a food additive, however it is mostly used to wash produce such as fruit. Nonetheless, it is widely regarded as a dangerous material to the human body and should be avoided by anyone with sensitivities or allergies.

When considering its possible toxicity, keep in mind that it is a highly reactive inorganic base. It is corrosive to the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, and digestive system in concentrated amounts. Ingestion can cause lung inflammation, throat swelling, severe abdominal pain, a significant change in blood pH, and trouble breathing, which can result in vision loss if it gets in your eye.

If you get it in your eyes by accident, remove everything contaminated with the liquid and flush it with water. You should also seek medical assistance immediately because this can lead to significant problems.

Sodium hydroxide, in addition to being corrosive, can also be extremely irritating to the skin. It can be absorbed via the skin and provide a burning feeling while damaging healthy cells. It can produce dermatitis, a painful and debilitating illness.

Sodium hydroxide, on the other hand, is not a major allergy, unlike other poisonous chemicals. However, it is a recognized skin irritant and has been proven to destroy healthy skin in concentrations as weak as 0.12%.

The intensity of the irritated skin, eyes, and respiratory system is determined by the concentration of sodium hydroxide in the solution as well as the duration of contact. Although a diluted solution does not elicit symptoms right away, contact with highly powerful solutions can cause considerable discomfort within 3 minutes.

What Do You Want To Search For?

Here you can search for the content you want to view