Disodium EDTA


Chelating Agent

No known benefits

Disodium EDTA at a glance

  • One of the salt forms of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid
  • Helps enhance the stability of cosmetics formulas
  • Makes it easier for preservatives to do their job
  • Safe as used in cosmetics (which is up to 0.85% in leave-on products)
  • Is also used as a food additive

Disodium EDTA description

Disodium EDTA is a salt of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (commonly known as EDTA). In cosmetics, it functions primarily as a chelating agent, meaning it prevents ingredients in a formula from binding with trace elements (mainly minerals) that can be present in water or other ingredients. This action enhances the stability of cosmetics formulas and helps makes the job of preservatives easier since EDTA ingredients bond with mineral ions that microorganisms need to remain intact. In addition to being used in makeup, skin care, and hair care products, disodium EDTA is also used as a food additive. In several studies, the Cosmetics Review Board has found that as used in cosmetics products, disodium EDTA is safe. It was determined that in the concentrations used in commercial cosmetics, it is not a skin sensitizer nor a carcinogen, and does not penetrate through skin. The highest concentration of disodium EDTA used in leave-on products is 0.85% (for hair colour sprays).

Disodium EDTA references

  • Cosmeticsinfo.org, Accessed November 2021, ePublication
  • Cosmetic Ingredient Review, June 2019, pages 1-77
  • European Commission Directorate General for Health and Consumers, September 2015, ePublication

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.