Sodium Levulinate



Sodium Levulinate at a glance

  • Salt of levulinic acid
  • Levulinic acid helps condition and soften skin
  • Also exhibits antimicrobial action
  • Safety in cosmetics is under review

Sodium Levulinate description

Sodium levulinate is the salt of levulinic acid, a synthetic organic acid that helps condition and soften skin. Sodium levulinate is sometimes part of preservative blend because it exhibits antimicrobial action, although this is more common in food than for cosmetics. The levulinic acid component can be transformed by naturally-occuring microbes into other helpful substances, including the moisturising ingredient trehalose.

Sodium Levulinate references

  • Natural Microbiology, December 2017, pages 1,624-1,634
  • Journal of Food Science, June 2008, pages M230-M244
  • Lebenson Wiss Technology, December 2004, pages 865–871

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.