Potassium Chloride

What Is It?

Potassium Chloride, an inorganic salt, is a white, odorless solid that is soluble in water. It has a saline taste at low concentrations. In cosmetics and personal care products, it may be used in the formulation of bath products, cleansing products, eye makeup, skin care products, personal cleanliness products and hair care products.

Why Is It Used?

Potassium Chloride functions as a viscosity increasing agent – aqueous.

Scientific Facts

Potassium Chloride occurs naturally as sylvite, and it can be extracted from sylvinite. It is also extracted from salt water and can be manufactured by crystallization from solution, flotation or electrostatic separation from suitable minerals. Most Potassium Chloride is used for fertilizer products.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Potassium Chloride on its list of direct food substances affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).

FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Potassium Chloride: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr…

Potassium Chloride may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) reviewed the safety of Potassium Chloride as used as a flavoring agent, a gelling agent and a food for yeast. They concluded that it was not necessary to establish an Acceptable Daily Intake for use of this ingredient in food.

Link to the JECFA safety evaluation of Potassium Chloride: http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jeceval/jec_1972.htm

As part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) High Production Volume (HPV) chemical program, safety information available on Potassium Chloride was reviewed. Studies in this review indicated that Potassium Chloride was irritating to the skin at concentrations of 60%. Potassium Chloride was not a carcinogen or developmental toxicant. The reviewers recommended that no additional studies of Potassium Chloride be completed.

Link to the data summary on Potassium Chloride: http://www.inchem.org/documents/sids/sids/KCHLORIDE.pdf

More Scientific Information

Potassium Chloride is an essential component of the body. It helps control intracellular osmotic pressure, cell permeability, acid-base balance, muscle contraction and nerve function.


Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Food Ingredients and Packaging: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/default.htm

Food Contact Substances: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/default.htm

Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS): http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/default.htm

Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm

EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/