What Is It?
Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Carbonate, Potassium Carbonate and Zinc Carbonate are all salts of carbonic acid. All of these ingredients are white powders. These carbonate salts are used in bath products, makeup products, personal cleanliness products, shaving products, oral care products and skin and hair care products.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
The following functions have been reported for these carbonate salts.
- Abrasive – Calcium Carbonate
- Absorbent – Magnesium Carbonate
- Buffering agent – Calcium Carbonate
- Bulking agent – Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Carbonate
- Opacifying agent – Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Carbonate, Zinc Carbonate
- Oral care agent – Calcium Carbonate
- pH adjuster – Magnesium Carbonate, Potassium Cabonate
- Skin protectant – Zinc Carbonate
Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Cabonate, Potassium Carbonate and Zinc Carbonate are inorganic salts of carbonic acid. Calcium Carbonate, also called calcite, is the main component of limestone. Magnesium Carbonate, also called magnesite, is the main component of chalk used as a drying agent for hands in rock climbing, gymnastics and weight lifting. Potassium Carbonate is also called potash. Zinc Carbonate is sometimes referred to as zinc spar or smithsonite.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Carbonate and Potassium Carbonate on its list of direct food substances affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). Calcium Carbonate and Magnesium Carbonate are FDA approved as active ingredients in Over-the-Counter (OTC) antacid drug products. Zinc Carbonate is approved for use in OTC skin protectant drug products at concentrations of 0.2 to 2%. Calcium Cabonate is an FDA approved color additive for use in drugs. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel has deferred evaluation of these ingredients because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.
More safety Information:
Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Calcium Carbonate
Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Magnesium Carbonate
Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Potassium Carbonate
Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Zinc Carbonate
Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Carbonate, Potassium Carbonate and Zinc Cabonate 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.
More Scientific Information:
A carbonate is a salt of carbonic acid. The carbonate anion consits of one carbon atom and three oxygen atoms, and carries a negative two charge. Sodium and Potassium Carbonates are soluble in water. Other carbonate salts are not soluble in water.
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