Ingredient: Disodium EDTA

INCI: Disodium EDTA

Source: A Salt of Edetic Acid

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What is: Disodium EDTA?

Disodium EDTA stands for disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. It is used as a preservative and chelating/sequestering agent. It is generally used in products that have high water content such as moisturizers, cleansing products like body washes, shampoos and conditioners.

Benefits of Disodium EDTA:

The primary function of disodium EDTA is to bind with metal ions from the hard water to prevent the metals from being deposited onto the hair, scalp and skin. The acid converts hard tap water to soft water which is gentler on the skin. A product that contains antioxidants like Vitamin E is reactive and binds to these free metal ions, reducing the efficacy of the product. Chelators like disodium EDTA protect the antioxidants present in formulations by binding with the free metals ions.

Microorganisms like bacteria feed on the metal ions present in the product, enabling them to live and reproduce. Disodium EDTA deactivates the metal ions by bonding with them, negating the ions for the microorganism to feed on and acts as a preservative to prevent cosmetic products from getting spoilt.

Studies have shown that the ingredient is non-carcinogenic and non-toxic. It is dermatologically compatible and does not irritate, sensitize or penetrate into the skin.

Side Effects & Toxicity:                                                        

Both the Food and Drug Administration and Cosmetic Ingredient Review’s Expert Panel have declared disodium EDTA safe and approved its use as preservatives for direct addition to food, cosmetics and personal care products.

Editor’s Note:

Some research suggests that the compound is weakly mutagenic and large oral doses have led to reproductive and developmental effects due to the acid’s binding with the metal ions and deactivating them.