Many questions have been raised over the safety of borax for the skin. Amidst, all the controversies, one question that still is highly debatable is it really safe for your skin? Though it has been positioned among toxic chemicals on some websites, but no such study has been found that can prove its harmfulness for skin, provided it is being used in moderate amount. It is worthy to be noted that it is not the chemical but the dose that makes it a poison for your skin.
What is Borax?
It is nothing but a natural mineral which is also known by some other names such as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate and disodium tetraborate. Usually people consider it as boric acid and falsely take it as poisonous, though in reality, it is just a salt. It holds different chemical properties as compared to those of boric acid. Talking about toxicity, it is much milder than its acidic form and hence its safety for the skin can be accounted without any debate. This natural salt is found in the form of white, colorless crystals that easily gets dissolved in water.
Where Borax is being used?
It has found great usage in the human life since ages. We come across with this natural mineral on a daily basis in one form or the other. Though commonly used as a cleansing agent, it has also become a part of uncountable skin care and cosmetic products we use every day. It acts as an emulsifier, a property which makes it a successful candidate to improve consistency of body lotions and face creams. Cosmetic industry has also found its usage in skin toners and cleansing formulas, thanks to its alkaline nature.
Its application is not limited to cosmetic industry only, but also extended to personal cleansing products as well. Many soap manufacturing industries are utilizing borax to eliminate bacteria, oil and dead cells from the skin affected by acne. The other property is its abrasive cleansing nature owing to which it has been added in hand-washes to clean greasy hands. It has already found its place in skin care home remedies prepared for products such as cold creams and exfoliates.
Is Borax Safe?
Many products we use in our day-to-day lives that come in contact with our skin are supplemented with this natural mineral. Since it has been so widely used, people are often found asking whether it is safe for the skin or not. Studies have found that until ingested, inhaled or used in excess amount, it is safe for the skin. Cosmetics or personal care products would not harm your skin if the amount of borax they contain is in the recommendable range.
Borax has been listed at 5-6 on the scale of toxicity level by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on the basis of its usage. It has been concluded from the studies found in ToxNet database, that borax is nothing more than a very mild lung irritant and is not capable of causing any long lasting damage to the body. It is alkaline in nature and hence can cause mild irritation on the skin like that of baking soda when used over the skin directly. Lacking the ability to penetrate through the skin layers, it is believed to be safe to use over the skin in moderate amount.
The Borax Conspiracy
Benefits of Borax:
- Using it as household laundry and cleaning products
- Using it as a dishwasher
- It is used in soaps
- It is present in some tooth bleaching formulas
- Of course as we discussed above, it is used heavily in cosmetics
- To your surprise it is also used to treat a range of diseases including Rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, blood lipid disorders etc.
In nutshell it is worthless to question safety of borax for the skin as long as you are using it within recommended quantity. This natural salt inherits no toxic component. Neither it gets absorbed into the skin nor causes cancer or accumulates in the body or the environment.
What makes this natural mineral unfavorable for the skin is its dosage above the recommended amount. It has been used extensively by various industries and will continue to be used until a deep research doesn’t come up reporting its side effects for the skin.