Chelating agents are substances that bind with metal ions and are essential for cosmetic stability and efficacy. Chelation is a method of stabilizing metal ions by preventing them from interacting chemically with other compounds.

Natural chelating agents for cosmetics are non-toxic and biodegradable. Organic ingredients are those that are sourced from plants or microbes.

Chelation is accomplished by numerous bonds (polydentate ligand) around a single central atom, which is referred to as a chelate complex. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and its derivatives, etidronic acid and its derivatives, galactaric acid, sodium metasilicate, and phosphate derivatives are all common chelating agents. In the personal care business , disodium EDTA and tetrasodium EDTA are two common chelators.  Chelators are employed in practically every industry.

Chelators are used in almost all types of personal care formulations to increase efficacy, stability, and client acceptance. They’ve also demonstrated that they can boost the effectiveness of preservatives. Chelators are used in liquid soap and body wash to keep the smell and color of the product while also working with antimicrobials. They’re also utilized to prevent metal ions from causing rancidity, softening, browning, cracking, and coloring, as well as to increase foaming and lots more.

They’re used in creams and lotions to prevent rancidity, discoloration, especially of organic colors, off-odors, and degradation of active substances, as well as to extend the shelf life and efficacy of vitamins, essential oils, and fatty acids. Chelators protect wipes from scent breakdown and offer fragrance retention. They defend against aroma degradation and provide antioxidant protection in deodorants and antiperspirants, especially when mixed with botanical actives and vitamins.

When working with chelating compounds, the formulator must first decide whether the component will serve as a chelator or as an antioxidant or pH stabilizer in the recipe. As a result, knowing whether it will be used to avoid discolouration, rancidity/off-odors, or increase shelf stability is critical. In addition, the formulator should examine if one chelator is better than another for the specified goal, and whether the chelating agent should be included early in the formulation process to avoid any deterioration before the product’s shelf stability can be optimized.


Because   they can alter the chelating system’s stability, the oxidizing nature and pH of the formula—not the pH of the chelator—will define the chelating system’s optimal effectiveness. 4 There is an ideal pH and an active pH range for each metal complex in which it is stable. Furthermore, the amount of chelating agent needed is determined by the concentration of the metal ion to be chelated as well as the type of chelating agent utilized. In general, sodium-type EDTA chelating agents create an equimolecular complex with a metal ion, which means that the greater the chelating agent’s molecular weight, the more chelating agent is required to chelate the metal ion. In addition, the order in which things are added is crucial; when things are placed in the right sequence, it makes a big difference.

Here are some examples of chealtors

EDTA- is a low-cost, highly effective ingredient with a wide range of formula compatibility. Use a concentration of 0.05-0.2 percent. The disadvantage is that it is derived from petroleum compounds and hence is not a long-term ‘green chemistry’ solution. It also received a poor image around ten years ago for its uneven biodegradability, but data gaps have since been addressed, and it now appears that EDTA biodegrades as long as the soil is alkali, however some of the heavy metal complexes are more resistant to degradation, which is a concern. In its tidy state, it is irritating to the eyes and skin, but most things are, so that isn’t a big deal.

SODIUM PHYTATE and PHYTIC ACID are two of the newer generations of phytochemicals. They are more costly than EDTA and are not as effective, but they are natural and produced from plants. 0.1-0.3 percent is a good starting point.

CITRIC ACID/SODIUM CITRATE – Although this is a weak chelating agent, it can aid in preservative effectiveness and the binding of certain metal ions. It’s usually employed at a concentration of 0.0-5.8% or to achieve a formula pH of 4-5

SODIUM GLUCONATE is a natural and mild chelating agent, which sounds nice, but I’m not sure you want your insect assassins to be delicate. In any case, it has a role in natural formulations and can aid to increase preservation without sounding alarming or excessively ‘chemical.’ Use at a concentration of 0.1-1 percent in acidic compositions.

NTA – They are rarely used in cosmetics

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