Sodium Citrate



No known benefits

Sodium Citrate at a glance

  • Is a salt of citric acid, which can be derived from citrus
  • Is primarily used to control the pH level of a product
  • Has antioxidant and preservative properties
  • Is also used in food and medical applications

Sodium Citrate description

Sodium citrate in skin care is used primarily to control the pH level of a product (such as in cleansers and exfoliants). It is a salt of citric acid, which, as the name implies, can be derived from citrus fruits. Because of its connection to citric acid, it also has antioxidant and mild, but limited, preservative properties. Sodium citrate has several other useful applications, including its use as a chelating agent, which keeps metals in water from binding to other ingredients and impacting their efficacy. The Cosmetics Ingredient Review panel has deemed sodium citrate safe as used in skin care products. It is supplied in crystal or powder form, and used at concentrations no higher than 12%. It’s also a food additive used to keep food fresher longer and prevent melted cheese from becoming greasy. In the medical field it is used to keep donated blood from clotting in storage.

Sodium Citrate references

  •, Accessed November 2021, ePublication
  • Pubchem, Accessed November 2021, ePublication
  • International Journal of Toxicology, May 2014, pages 16S-46S

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