Sodium chloride (salt)

What is it? Good ol’ salt! The variety you’re likely the most familiar with is table salt, but sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, and many other salts are basically just sodium chloride (NaCl).
INCI Sodium chloride
Appearance It can vary; generally crystalline, but there’s a lot of different size and shape possibilities. You can also purchase different colours of salt, like pink Himalayan salt and black salt.
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture It varies; very coarse to fine crystals.
Scent Little to none.
Solubility Water
Why do we use it in formulations? Salt can play several roles in our skin care products. It can be used as an exfoliant, included in bath soaks, and used to thicken some surfactant blends. You’ll find it in hair mists for texturizing the hair. It does function as a humectant, but the skin feel can be sticky. Larger grain and/or colourful salts can also be beautiful decorative elements. In high enough concentrations it can inhibit microbial growth, but we rarely use it at concentrations this high.
Do you need it? No, but you probably already have it!
Refined or unrefined? It depends what you’re looking for; I have table salt, large grain salt, and Himalayan pink salt.
Strengths Inexpensive, readily available.
Weaknesses Salt is very rich in electrolytes and can compromise anything that is electrolyte sensitive.
Alternatives & Substitutions As an exfoliant granulated sugar can be a good alternative. For bath salts, Epsom salts are a good alternative. For thickening surfactant blends you can try Crothix or a gum like HEC.
How to Work with It Include as directed in the recipe (it can vary a lot depending on the reason for use). Can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, salt should last indefinitely.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Try mixing equal parts fine grain salt and liquid oil for a simple body scrub.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3.3oz)—more if you are making bath salts
Where to Buy it Buy it from your local grocery store or Amazon. You might want to turn to a DIY supplier for more affordable versions of fancy salts like Himalayan pink sea salt.

Some Formulations that Use Salt


Posted on

February 10, 2019