Sodium Chloride

What Is It?

Sodium Chloride, or table salt, is a white crystalline solid. In cosmetics and personal care products, Sodium Chloride is used in the formulation of oral hygiene products, shampoos, fragrance, skin, hair, nail, cleansing, suntan, makeup and bath products.

Why Is It Used?

Sodium Chloride polishes the teeth, reduces oral odor, or otherwise cleanses or deodorizes the teeth and mouth. Sodium Chloride also imparts a flavor or a taste to a product. It can also increase the thickness of the aqueous (water) portion of cosmetics and personal care products.

Scientific Facts

Sodium Chloride occurs naturally in seawater and as the mineral halite. Sodium Chloride is essential to biological organisms and is found in most tissues and body fluids. The sodium and chlorine elements of Sodium Chloride play a diverse and important role in many physiological processes, including the transport of nutrients and waste, nervous system functions, and water and electrolyte balance.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety of Sodium Chloride and approved its use as an active ingredient in Over-The-Counter (OTC) drug products for the eyes at concentrations of 2 to 5%. In addition to being an important component of food, FDA includes Sodium Chloride on its list of substances considered Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) as a substance migrating to food from packaging. The FDA also regulates labeling of table salt, and regulates labeling statements on food regarding levels of Sodium Chloride the food product contains. Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has deferred evaluation of this ingredient because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.

The FDA’s Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) concluded that there was no evidence in the available information on Sodium Chloride in dry food packaging that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when it is used at levels that are now current or might reasonably be expected in the future.


Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Sodium Chloride

Sodium 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.

EU Cosmetic Regulation

More Scientific Information

Sodium Chloride, table salt, is an inorganic salt. In cosmetics and personal care products, Sodium Chloride functions as an oral care agent, flavoring agent, and a viscosity increasing agent – aqueous.


Find out more about the regulation of over-the-counter drugs by the Food and Drug Administration

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