Sodium borate for the skin: What you need to know

Woman putting a cream on her hand

In our search for optimal skin care, we continue to explore ingredients that can enhance the efficacy and safety of formulations. Borate de sodium is one such ingredient that has various benefits in skin care. Let’s delve into the science-backed advantages of incorporating this chemical into skin care routines.

Inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation and DNA damage prevention

Skin care products in a dark background

Lymphocytes are a type of cell of the body’s immune system A study involving 40 lymphocyte cultures shed light on sodium borate’s potential to inhibit the proliferation of lymphocytes. The researchers also employed a sister chromatid exchange (the exchanging of genetic material) technic to monitor DNA interchange, revealing its role in preventing DNA damage. This suggests that this substance may contribute to maintaining cellular integrity, which is a crucial aspect of skin care.

Non-irritating formulations

Man teaching his daughter how to wash hand on a kitchen sink

There is proof that cosmetic formulations containing up to 3.2% sodium borate are non-irritating. Research suggests that concentrations of this ingredient of no more than 5% are safe as cosmetic ingredients. This is a significant finding for skin care products, as irritation can be discouraging for some users. Ensuring formulations are gentle on the skin is crucial for long-term usage and user satisfaction.

Versatile cosmetic applications

A man shaving in front of a mirror, with shaving cream facial hair

Sodium borate has widespread use in cosmetic products for stability and texture. They can preserve, help stop microbial growth, adjust pH, buffer, and increase viscosity. Specifically, it stabilizes and emulsifies cleansing creams and lotions, playing a crucial role in neutralizing beeswax.

Antiviral properties

Bubbles in a woman's hand

Research involving hamster kidney cells infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV) demonstrated that incubation with up to 30mM sodium borate completely inhibited virus replication at concentrations of 20mM or greater. This antiviral property adds a new dimension to the potential applications of this ingredient in skin care, especially in the formulations designed to combat viral infections.

Film-forming and water-resistant properties

A white-and-purple ointment tube with ointment pouring out

When applied topically, 5% sodium borate forms a water-resistant film that is transparent and flexible. This unique property makes it a valuable addition to skin care products, especially after the application of analgésique agents, enhancing their effectiveness and providing a protective barrier.

Bacteriostatic effects

Skin care products in a dark background

Sodium borate and boric acid exhibit weak bactericidal properties but have significant bacteriostatic effects in concentrations up to 4%. This makes them potentially valuable in skin care formulations designed to prevent bacterial growth and maintain product integrity over time.

A gentle reminder for compromised skin

Woman's legs with scratches, forest background

While sodium borate showcases its properties in skin care formulations, its use in compromised skin is not recommended. The permeability of damaged skin, whether from wounds or abrasions, may alter the absorption of sodium borate. The Government of Canada does not recommend its use for open sores or wounds. We also do not recommend to use this product on children aged 3 and below.

Sodium borate in skin care

The benefits of sodium borate are diverse and scientifically proven. From inhibiting lymphocyte proliferation to acting as an emulsifier, antiviral agent, and bacteriostatic component, this ingredient has the potential to revolutionize skin care formulations. As with any skin care ingredient, careful consideration and adherence to recommended concentrations are essential for ensuring both safety and efficacy.

Ressources associées


Is sodium borate bad for your skin?

Sodium borate is safe and has some skin benefits in concentrations of less than or equal to 5%.

What is sodium borate used for in skin care?

In the formulation of skin care products, the addition of sodium borate can help emulsify, stabilize, adjust pH, and stop the growth of bacteria and viruses.

Are products with sodium borate safe for kids?

Products containing sodium borate are not recommended for kids 3 years and below. These products should be used in intact skin only.