|Description||Sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid. It occurs naturally in the skin as part of the skin’s NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factors), and is an excellent humectant. It is a significantly stronger humectant than vegetable glycerin, with over twice the water holding capability.|
|Appearance||A thin liquid that is typically a solution of approximately 60% strength.|
|Usage rate||Recommended use level 0.5-10% for skin care products. For bar soaps 2-3%. care products.|
|Applications||Skin Care, Bath and Body Care, Hair Care, Moisturizing Repairing Products, May be Used to Increase pH, Buffer Acids
May be Used to Improve the Absorption of Emulsions, May be Used to Reduce the Greasiness of Emulsions
|Why do we use it in formulations?||
In skin care products it it used primarily as a humectant. It is second only to hyaluronic acid in its ability to hold water! It can also reduce tackiness in formulas, and is a keratolytic. Sodium lactate increases skin hydration in both leave-on and rinse-off applications.
It can also be used as a pH adjustor and buffering agent.
In bar soaps it can be included to harden the bar faster and improve un-moulding, though it can also accelerate trace.
It is sometimes sold as a preservative, but it is absolutely not a preservative. It can help boost preservative function, but it is not a preservative on its own.
|Do you need it?||No, but if you have dry skin I’d highly recommend it. It’s inexpensive and versatile.|
|Alternatives & Substitutions||
Other humectants would be a good place to start; vegetable glycerin, propanediol, and sodium PCA would all be good choices. Watch for the stickiness factor, though! If a recipe already contains some glycerin, replacing sodium lactate with even more glycerin could make the end product stickier than intended.
Sodium lactate and lactic acid are never interchangeable.
Always test formulations. This product is intended for external use only.