Many people are conscious about the many safety concerns raised about borax.While on some websites it has been categorized among toxic chemical, no such study has confirmed it harmful for the skin when used within normal range. In the case of borax, it is the dose that makes the poison, not the chemical itself.
What is Borax?
Borax, a natural mineral, has got other names too like sodium tetraborate, sodium borate and disodium tetraborate. People usually mistook it as boric acid while borax is just salt of it. It is chemically different from boric acid and the risk of toxicity associated with it is much milder when compared to its acidic form. In powdered form, borax is white, colorless crystals that get dissolve easily in water.
Use of Borax
Borax has been used extensively by the human kind especially to clean things. We encounter this natural mineral in one or the other form on a daily basis. It has greatly been a part of laundry detergents, skin lotions and a number of cosmetic products that we use in our daily lives. Having emulsifying properties, borax when combined with wax helps improving consistency of face creams and lotions. It has also been used widely owing hand soaps for greasy hands owing to its abrasive cleansing feature. Being alkaline in nature, this chemical is being added to skin toners and cleansing formulas on a wide scale. Not only this, it is also added to soap to eliminate oil, bacteria and dead skin cells in case of acne. Being a natural mineral, it has also been successful in finding a place in home recipe for products like exfoliants and cold creams. Borax helps do away with a number of skin infections naturally, without causing too many side effects.
Is Borax Safe?
Now we have learnt that borax is being added to numerous products our skin comes in contact with on a daily basis. So the major question is this chemical is safe for our skin? Studies have shown that a moderate amount of borax in cosmetics or personal care products does not cause any harm to the skin. It is safe till used in moderate amount. Until it gets inhaled, ingested via mouth or enter into the eyes, nothing wrong will happen to you if you follow the recommended amount. Though, Environmental Working Group (EWG) has listed it at 5-6 toxicity level based on the usage.
The studies present in ToxNet database show that borax is very mild lung irritant and cause no long lasting damage. Being highly alkaline, it does cause mild irritation on the skin, but is a lot like the tingling sensation caused by baking soda when used on the skin. Since it does not have the ability to penetrate the skin well, it is considered safe when used in moderate amount. Moreover, it is not a bio-accumulative, meaning its repetitive use does not lead it to build up in your system.
In all, borax is a natural salt and has nothing inherently toxic component in it. Neither does it cause cancer, nor does it get absorbed into the skin or build-up in the body to increase toxicity.
While talking about its safety, it is harmless till the time it is used in normal dosage. It’s the high dosage of this natural salt that can turn it to be unfavorable for the skin and human body. It has been used in homes in cleansing, exfoliating and skin care products and continue to be used as such till the time no latest study released pointing out its side effect for the skin.