Sodium Formate



No known benefits

Sodium Formate at a glance

  • A preservative that helps prolong a product’s shelf life
  • Helps neutralize and bring balance to a skin care formulation’s pH
  • Is the salt form of the preservative formic acid
  • Used in cosmetics and hair care in concentrations of up to .34%
  • Deemed safe in cosmetic and hair formulations by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel

Sodium Formate description

Sodium formate is the organic monosodium salt form of formic acid that works to help preserve skin care formulas, although it’s considered weak in that regard compared to pure formic acid. It also serves as a buffering agent, where it helps neutralize acids and brings balance to the pH of a formulation. Beyond its use in skin care and makeup, sodium formate is often also found in hair care formulations for the same benefit. In its raw material form, sodium formate is a water soluble white or colorless powder. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel has deemed the usage of sodium formate in cosmetic formulations safe in concentrations up to 0.34%.

Sodium Formate references

  • International Journal of Toxicology, November 2016, 41S-54S

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