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Chelating agents are components that bind to metal ions and play a vital role in the stability and efficacy of cosmetics. The chelation process stabilizes metal ions by preventing them from chemically reacting with any other substance. Chelating agents are used in almost every personal care formulation type to improve effectiveness and stability, thereby increasing consumer acceptance. In addition, they have demonstrated the ability to enhance the activity of preservatives. Chelating agents are used in liquid soaps and body washes to prevent fragrance and color degradation and to create synergy with antimicrobial agents. They are also added to bar soaps to prevent rancidity, softening, brown spotting, cracking and discoloration caused by metal ions, as well as to enhance lathering and rinseability.
When using a chelating agent, the formulator should first determine the role of the ingredient in the formulation - as a true chelating agent, or as an antioxidant or pH stabilizer. Therefore, it is important to know if it will be used to prevent discoloration, souring/off-flavors or to improve shelf stability. In addition, the formulator should consider whether one chelating agent is better than another for the identified purpose, and whether the chelating agent should be added early in the formulation process to prevent any degradation before it has a chance to optimize storage stability.
Chelating agents help extend the shelf life of cosmetic products while being biodegradable and minimizing environmental risks. When used in combination with antioxidants such as tocopherols, chelating agents help protect valuable ingredients such as unsaturated oils.
Chelating agents can be added to the aqueous phase at any step in the production phase. Please note that the pH of chelating agents is very low. When using acid-sensitive ingredients, it is recommended to dissolve the chelating agent in water first and then add the appropriate substance.
It is recommended to use it in combination with other antioxidants (tocopherols, ascorbyl palmitate). Chelating agents help to protect valuable ingredients from oxidation (e.g. unsaturated oils, fragrance ingredients). When using hard water, it maintains the lather of rinse products and prevents the precipitation of insoluble fatty acid salts in soaps.