Sodium hydroxide in skin care products: A critical look at this ingredient

February 2024
The Derma Check AI

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  • Type of ingredient: pH value regulator
  • Main benefits: Adjusts the optimum pH value of skin care products
  • Ideal for: Products that require a specific pH balance
  • Frequency of use: Depending on the respective product
  • Combines well with: Rarely used alone, usually in combination with other ingredients
  • To avoid with: Hypersensitive skin or in high concentrations

Introduction: What is sodium hydroxide?

Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, is an ingredient used in the cosmetics industry to regulate and stabilize the pH of skin care products.

Benefits of sodium hydroxide in skin care products

pH value regulation

Sodium hydroxide is used to adjust the optimum pH value in skin care products, which is essential for the effectiveness and stability of many formulations.

Possible side effects of sodium hydroxide

Skin irritations

In higher concentrations, sodium hydroxide can cause skin irritation, dryness or redness.

The need for correct concentration

Using the right concentration is crucial to avoid negative skin reactions.

Use of sodium hydroxide in skin care

Correct application

  • Only in approved products: Sodium hydroxide should only be used in products where it is formulated according to safety guidelines.
  • Do not use in isolation: It should not be used in pure form or in homemade formulations.

How not to use it

  • Avoidance for sensitive skin: People with sensitive skin should avoid products with high concentrations of sodium hydroxide.
  • Caution with self-application: Avoid experimenting with sodium hydroxide in home cosmetics.


1. is sodium hydroxide safe in skin care products? In the low concentrations used by the cosmetics industry, sodium hydroxide is considered safe.

2. can sodium hydroxide trigger allergic reactions? In rare cases, reactions may occur in people with hypersensitive skin.

3 Why is sodium hydroxide used in skin care products? It is used to regulate the pH value, which is crucial for the effectiveness of many skin care products.


Sodium hydroxide plays an important role in regulating the pH value in skin care products. Used in the correct concentration, it contributes to the effectiveness and safety of skin care products. It is important to be aware of the potential risks and to choose products that are suitable for your individual skin type.

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The Derma Check AI
The Derma Check's AI has been trained with the help of numerous scientific studies. She specializes in cosmetic ingredients and their effects.