Opinions on borax in lotion?

working on a base formula for my foundation and I see some people say borax can be used as an emulsifier. Other people really react badly to the idea of borax being used for anything outside of laundry, but it is a natural salt right? 

What do you think about borax being used as an emulsifier for a natural hemp lotion?


  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Terrible, frankly. It kills cockroaches though.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Thanks Belassi! I felt a bit weird about the idea of applying salt to the face like that but gotta ask to learn more~ 
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    historically it was used in combination with beeswax; the borate salts that resulted from combining the two were the active emulsifier, as neither beeswax nor borax are effective emulsifiers on their own

    it does occur in nature, but it's also a category 1B reprotoxin, and a substance of very high concern - personally, I'd avoid it
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    I'd have to say that Borax/Boric Acid would be something to avoid in Personal Care products.

    It is NOT an emulsifier! Not ever! At least, not by itself, any more than Beeswax is an emulsifier by itself. For either of them to be emulsifiers by themselves is flat out chemically impossible.

    The reason it was used, traditionally, is because it's one of the very few easily obtainable bases through low-tech means. A very, very long time ago (3,000 years?) it was discovered that Borax, when mixed with Beeswax and water, could be made into a w/o cream. It does this by neutralizing the fatty acids naturally present in Beeswax. It is the salts created by that neutralization that are the emulsifiers.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • How do you feel about using emulsifying wax in a lotion?
  • Moreover Boric acid/Borax is a carcinogenic as per CMR so that can't be used in personal care products. 
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