Chelating Agents – Do you need one in your formulation?

Chelating Agents – Do you need one in your formulation?
August 20, 2020 Aidee Erhime
Cosmetics laboratory

Chelating agents, also known as chelants or chelators, are ingredients that work in conjunction with preservatives, to keep a formulation safe from microbial growth.

They bind with metallic compounds and are used to remove these impurities that may be present in the formulation.

Metallic impurities can come from different sources, especially the water used in the preparation of the product, as well as the other ingredients used. Metallic impurities may also come from the type of containers used during product formulation.

Chelating agents are often used in most cosmetic formulations including makeup products, creams and lotions.

While some formulators swear by adding these agents in every of their formulation, some do not see the need to. It ultimately depends on the intention of usage of the products and how ‘natural’ the formulator wants the product to be.

If the product will be sold to the public, the formulator might want to take all necessary precautions including adding a chelating agent to the mix.

If using chelating agents, a small amount of should be used in every formulation, usually 0.05 – 0.1%. Chelants are also added to the water phase just before emulsification.

Some examples of chelants include Tetrasodium EDTA, Glucono Delta Lactone (GDL), Phytic acid, sodium gluconate and sodium phytate, amongst others.

Do you use chalants in your formulation? Which ones do you prefer to work with?



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  1. […] a lotion to be a lotion, it needs to undergo some form of emulsification. The emulsification would ensure that the oil and water phases in it, are effectively […]

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