Zinc Chloride

What Is It?

Zinc Chloride is a white crystalline solid. In cosmetics and personal care products, Zinc Chloride is used in the formulation of dentifrices, mouthwashes, skin care products, hair conditioners and bath products.

Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

Zinc Chloride polishes the teeth, reduces oral odor, or otherwise cleanses or deodorizes the teeth and mouth. It is also applied topically for use in properly caring for the oral cavity. Zinc Chloride induces a tightening or tingling sensation of the skin and helps to cleanse the skin or to prevent odor by destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms.

Scientific Facts:

Zinc Chloride has a strong affinity for moisture and will absorb a relatively large amount of water from the atmosphere, forming a liquid solution. Zinc is an essential trace element that plays an important role in metabolism and the proper functioning of the immune system.

Safety Information:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety of Zinc Chloride and approved its use as an astrigent in oral care Over-the-Counter (OTC) drug products at concentrations of 0.1-0.25%. FDA includes Zinc Chloride on its list of substances considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use as a nutrient. It is also on the list of GRAS indirect food addtives for use in cotton and cotton fabrices used in food packaging. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel 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.

More safety Information:

The FDA’s Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) concluded that there was no evidence in the available information on Zinc Chloride that demonstrates a hazard to the public when used at levels that are now current and in the manner now practiced.

The FDA Monograph on oral health care drug products                            

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Zinc Chloride

Water-soluble zinc salts, including Zinc Chloride, are listed in the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union and may be used at a maximum concentration of 1% (calculated as zinc) (see Annex III).


More Scientific Information:

Zinc Chloride is an inorganic salt. In cosmetics and personal care products, Zinc Chloride functions as an oral care agent, a cosmetic astringent and a cosmetic biocide. Zinc Chloride also functions as a drug astringent in OTC oral health care drug products.


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