Disodium EDTA: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Disodium EDTA: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA, also known as Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid, is a crystalline and odourless powder. It is a water-soluble synthetic ingredient that serves multiple purposes. This compound is one of the chief components of many personal care and hygiene products. Disodium EDTA in skin care products like soaps, body washes and cleansers is a common ingredient. Basically, it is an important compound that enhances and improves the stability of cosmetic products. More on the uses, benefits and applications of Disodium EDTA are listed below.


Scientific name: Calcium Disodium EDTA


Chemical formula: [(HO2CCH2-)(NaO2CCH2-)N-CH2]2·2H2O

Disodium EDTA uses & benefits for skin

Disodium EDTA is a strong emulsion stabiliser that enables the mixing of oil and water-based ingredients which are generally immiscible. Following are the Disodium EDTA uses for skin that effectively helps our skin to revitalise.


    • Disodium EDTA is a good chelating agent that binds with metal ions and prevents them from clogging the minute pores present in our skin. Hence, the disodium EDTA in skin care products facilitates skin devoid of free radicals. 
    • Besides its chelating property, it also helps in maintaining the integrity of the skin. The viscosity controlling capacity of disodium EDTA helps our skin to retain the nourishment provided by the products for longer periods. 
    • The pH of disodium EDTA is relatively lower than that of other chelating agents like tetrasodium EDTA. Hence, it does not have a harsh effect on the skin. 
    • It inhibits the growth of bacteria by denaturing the cell wall proteins of many bacterial strains. So, it can help in managing acne and pimple to some extent. 
  • Disodium EDTA uses for skin also include it facilitating the absorption of vital nutrients inside the deep skin layers. The compound as discussed previously attracts metal ions and free radicals making the skin free from unwanted substances. This property provides ample space for the nutrients to penetrate through the skin. 
    • Besides being beneficial to our skin, it is also beneficial to the skin products that we use. It increases the stability of the products and helps in the even distribution of the product throughout the surface. Thus, it indirectly helps the skin to avail of the benefits of the product thoroughly. 

    How to apply/use Disodium EDTA

    There are variants available in the market mostly containing the acid in their products. So it is also important to know the best way to use the product you are selecting.


    • Take a few drops of face wash containing Disodium EDTA and apply it all over the face for cleansing it. Repeat the process daily for better outgrowth.
    • The creams which contain the chemical can be applied in a small amount on a daily basis. You can include this in your daily skin care schedule.
    • You can use the body washes which contain disodium EDTA instead of soap during a bath. Take a sufficient quantity on your palm or loofah and rub with some water, the foaming action of chemicals will help to cleanse your skin.
    • To keep your skin fresh for a long time, you can use Disodium EDTA skin care products such as moisturiser. Take enough moisturiser and spread it all over your body to see effective results.

    Disodium EDTA Side effects 

    Is Disodium EDTA in skin care is harmful? The question comes while discussing the compound as it has become a matter of concern because of its frequent usage in cosmetic and personal care products. To answer the question, below are the probable side effects.


    • As the chemical is a great absorbent, it may help other harmful chemicals to absorb easily into your skin.
    • In some cases, it was claimed that disodium EDTA may enhance the toxicity of the product which may harm the outer layer of your skin.
    • The excessive use of your daily care face wash or soaps containing this compound can make your skin dry.
    • Disodium EDTA skin care products may cause severe irritation to your eyes if it comes to contact with them.
    • It can cause unbearable itching or infection while using the chemical-containing products on cracked skin.

    Precautions while using Disodium EDTA

    Is Disodium EDTA good for skin? According to most research, it is absolutely safe to use on the skin. However, it should be used with some precautions to avoid adverse impacts. 


    • It is advisable not to use the chemical containing products more than twice a day. You can use your face washes or body washes two times and wash them thoroughly with normal and clean water.
    • In case of any eye irritation, stop using disodium EDTA containing products. Rinse it off your eyes immediately when it comes in contact with your eyes. 
    • Do not use products containing this compound on cracked skin. It is suggested for external use only.
    • Using a small portion of creams or lotions containing this compound will not have any harmful effect on your body or skin.

    FAQs on Disodium EDTA

  • Is Disodium EDTA safe for skin?
  • Is disodium EDTA good for skin is a common question posed by many because of its highly reactive properties. But mostly, in research, the compound is found safe for the skin. Disodium EDTA for skin works as a stabiliser to improve the appearance of the product which makes it more usable on your skin.


  • What is the full form of Disodium EDTA?
  • Disodium EDTA stands for Ethylene diamine tetraacetic which is the most commonly used chemical as a food and skincare additive.


  • Is disodium EDTA a natural ingredient?
  • No, it is not a natural ingredient. But is disodium EDTA in skin care is harmful? No, even though it is synthetically produced it has properties beneficial for the skin. The chemical is made in the laboratory to synthesise from Ethylenediamine, formaldehyde and sodium cyanide.


  • What is the pH of disodium EDTA?
  • The pH of this chemical is from 4 to 6 approximately. Therefore, the compound is more soluble in water as the pH level increases.


  • Why is Disodium EDTA used in personal care products?
  • Disodium EDTA for skin is used to enhance the foaming action in products making them more convenient for cleansing purposes. One of the key uses of Disodium EDTA in skin care products is to increase the shelf-life to make it safer on your skin.


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