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Sodium Hydroxide

Also-called-like-this: lye
What-it-does: buffering

Details

The unfancy name for it is lye. It’s a solid white stuff that’s very alkaline and used in small amounts to adjust the pH of the product and make it just right. 

For example, in case of AHA or BHA exfoliants, the right pH is super-duper important, and pH adjusters like sodium hydroxide are needed.  

BTW, lye is not something new. It was already used by ancient Egyptians to help oil and fat magically turn into something else. Can you guess what? Yes, it’s soap. It still often shows up in the ingredient list of soaps and other cleansers.

Sodium hydroxide in itself is a potent skin irritant, but once it's reacted (as it is usually in skin care products, like exfoliants) it is totally harmless.

Products with Sodium Hydroxide

Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Charcoal Soap Base Daily Radiance & Multi-protection Serum Beauty Drops Aha 30% + Bha 2% Peeling DR. SOUL Dark Spot Eraser Whitening Soap INNO-DERMA Βeta Purifying 24h Cream Ivana Skin Purifying Charcoal Bar Klairs Rich Moist Facial Soap Kruidvat Bodylotion Sensitive Almond Oil Lana Age Defying Soap Patanjali Mogra Body Cleanser Pyary Turmeric Soap RDL Papaya Brightening Soap T3 Ada Gel The Queen Cosmetics and Skin Care Line Power Exfoliating Set- Kojic Acid Soap body blitz Plump It Up Serum ALVEUS Sapone Viso Corpo Acne.org Aha+ (Glycolic Acid - 10%) Advanced Clinicals 10% Glycolic Serum Aisuanis Energy Complex Ahas Exfoliating Toner Aroma Zone Sérum Visage Concentré Acide Glycolique 10% & AHA Avoskin Naufa Pure Olive Oil Bar Soap Barefaced Glow Peel Pads Base Deep Sebum Control & Pore Clarifying Serum Beauché Beauty Bar Belo Intensive Whitening Bar Classic Belo Essentials Belo Acne-pro Pimple Fighting Bar Bioderma Sebium Serum Bioderma Sébium Night Peel Bliss That'S Incredi-Peel CeraVe Acne Control Gel CeraVe Acne Control Gel CeraVe Blemish Control Gel CeraVe Blemish Control Gel Moisturiser With 2% Salicylic Acid & Niacinamide For Blemish-prone Skin Clinique Clinique iD BB-Gel+ Pores & Uneven Texture Pre-assembled Kit Clinique ID Active Cartridge Concentrate - for Pores & Uneven Texture Clémence & Vivien Savon À Froid L'emir Clémence & Vivien Savon À Froid Le Saint Bernard Clémence & Vivien Savon À Froid Le Suisse D'lumiere Esthetique Aha 20% Anti Aging Serum DR. SEA Mineral Cleansing Gel For Face And Eyes Defensil Pimple Defense Soap Dermaceutic Foamer 15 Dermorepubliq Niacinamide Acne And Pil Control Face Bar Soap Dermosil Anti-Spot Gel Dermskin Lemon Soap Dr Bronner Lavender Soap Bar Dr. Bronner's Organic Eucalyptus Soap Bar Dr. Bronner's Organic Green Tea Soap Bar Dr. Bronner's Organic Tea Tree Pure-Castile Soap Bar Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Bar Soap