INCI: Sodium hydroxide

What is Sodium hydroxide?

Lye is a common name for Sodium hydroxide, just like caustic soda. It is an inorganic compound. Its chemical formula is NaOH, wherein Na+ stands for sodium and OH- stands for hydroxide ions. It is alkaline in nature and soluble in water. It is white, crystalline powder. 

Use & Benefits

Sodium hydroxide is mainly used for hydrolyzing fat and
making soap for years. Direct application is considered damaging to the skin, but when it undergoes a process called saponification it can form a soap that cleanses skin and makes it smooth. It can be used in any formulation to bring the acidic pH up to neutral or in a natural acidic range which is also referred to as “skin’s acid mantle”. Skin’s natural acidic surface pH is, in fact, necessary to maintain the skin’s protective structure intact. When certain ingredients have higher (alkaline) or lower (acidic) pH, they damage the skin’s protective mechanism as well. Thus, harmful bacteria and the environment can make skin vulnerable. So, maintaining a product pH is very important for the skin’s health. It is used bath products, foot powders, hair dyes and colors, cleansing products, etc.