Sodium PCA vs Sodium Lactate - Pros and Cons? List of claims.

ZinkZink Member
edited November 2014 in Formulating
So I've been wondering which one of these are the better humectans or have certain drawbacks or incompatibilities. Things I've read, no solid sources:

Sodium PCA
  1. More expensive than lactate
  2. Can act as a penetration enhancer
  3. Can act as an anti inflammatory/

Sodium Lactate
  1. Sodium Lactate can be a sun sensitizer
  2. Sodium Lactate has 20% better water holding capacity than sodium PCA
  3. Reduces irritation potential and increases efficacy of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids
  4. Makes oils and butters less greasy and more moisturizing because it lengthens the carbon chain of oils
  5. Significantly increases and accelerates the action (particularly the skin lightening action) of Vitamin C and its derivatives
  6. Antimicrobial action helps facilitate product preservation
  7. Dramatically improved moisture content of skin even when utilized in rinse-off products.
  8. Believed to stimulate ceramide synthesis in the skin, and it increases the plasticity of our skin. It also acts as a mild AHA, which can help reduce "the look of fine lines and wrinkles".

What do you guys recon? Is sodium lactate or pca typically better, or why not use both?

Comments

  • In what product type? You haven't said.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • In either a moisturizing lotion or a cleanser.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Zink:

    Sodium Lactate is second only to Hyaluronic Acid as a moisturizer and it is significantly less expensive.  I use it in my moisturizers and serums.  I think it offers substantial skin benefits relative to Sodium PCA, but it all depends on what function you're looking for the ingredient to perform in your product.

    Sodium Lactate will increase the pH of your formulation, so factor that into account when making your decision. Whether you use one or the other, it also depends on what other ingredients are in your formulation.  But, if you're targeting a moisturizer, Sodium Lactate can be an excellent choice.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • I hear hyaluronic acid could actually dry the skin.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    There are two different types of Hyaluronic Acid (1) "Regular" Molecular Weight, which is an occlusive, it forms a film barrier on the surface of the skin to seal-in hydration as the Hyaluronic Acid molecules are generally too large to penetrate the dermis; (2) SLMW Hyaluronic Acid (Super Low Molecular Weight) which can penetrate the dermis.

    Not intending to be an ass, but there's a big difference between "hearing" incorrect information and knowing the correct information.  That's why it's important to do your research when considering an ingredient.  
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • How do we know super/ultra low MW HA is a good thing even given that it has some skin penetration ability? Bulk Actives recommends against using it and can't find any studies: https://bulkactives.com/hyaluronic-acid-ultra-low-moceluar-weight-powder.html

     “Assuming small size HA molecules penetrate into the dermis, they are likely to trigger some elements of the wound healing response (as we discussed above), such as immune activation, inflammation, cell division, blood vessel growth, new skin matrix synthesis and so forth. The net effect might be either matrix degradation and accelerated skin aging or matrix remodeling and improved skin texture. Studies are required to answer this question.”Hyaluronic acid: Skin matrix health is not just about proteins and Hyaluronic acid for skin hydration and possibly a lot more; by Dr. Todorov, smartskincare.com

    For this reason we previously stopped selling ultra low molecular weight Hyaluronic acid, and were encouraging customers to focus on using the Niacinamide/Glucosamine combination to increase natural Hyaluronic acid production in the skin."


  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Zink:

    You forgot to add this paragraph from their website:  LOL!  Due to customer demand, we have decided to continue stocking SLMW Hyaluronic Acid but encourge you not to buy it!  Note:  This is an "observation" by Dr. Todorov, not based on any actual evidence he has AND you can't find any studies to support his hypothesis.  So, what does that tell you:  Bulk Actives management appear to not be very smart.

    "Regrettably, customer demand for ultra low molecular weight Hyaluronic acid remained high, and as some other suppliers continued selling this product we were losing customers.
    We have therefore restocked ultra low molecular weight Hyaluronic acid, but urge you to NOT buy it, and instead use regular weight Hyaluronic acid as an anti inflammatory and moisturizer (in suitable climates), and again ask you to focus on the excellent combination of Niacinamide and Glucosamine to increase natural synthesis of Hyaluronic acid in the skin."
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    This makes sense once you start worrying about the FDA and drug status versus cosmetic status of finished products.

    Bulk Actives seems to be saying: 
    "We think that SLMW Hyaluronic does indeed penetrate the stratum corneum and penetrate into the dermis, where we believe it does "affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals" (FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)). That would make any product using it a drug, by the FDA's definition, so we stopped selling it."

    Then, they go on to say:
    "When we stopped selling this ingredient, we lost too much money. And since other people stopped selling this, the opportunity to make even more money is too large for us to ignore. So, since we still think that this could be a drug ingredient, our lawyers tell us that if we sell it, but tell everyone not to buy it, we will be free from any liability if the FDA goes after one of our customers for selling an unapproved new drug."

    It's not a lack of intelligence, in my opinion - it's an excess of greed.

    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    About BulkActives

    BulkActives are DIY skin care suppliers of skin actives, cosmetic ingredients, cosmeceuticals, active ingredients, and standardized botanical extracts for diy skin care products and homemade cosmetics.

    Attention - please read:

    BulkActives is a part-time business. Orders are processed on Saturdays and mailed on Mondays at the latest.

    I wonder if their lawyer only works on Saturdays too!

    Ten-to-one their profit margin on Nicainamide/Glucosamine is substantially higher than their profit margin on SLMW Hyaluronic.



    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • Nonetheless, where is the evidence that Low Molecular weight HA applied topically is helpful compared to e.g. sodium lactate? 

    Seems like all hype, no evidence.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3486775/ and http://jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961613P0664X#close both refer to the same result, they are not blinded, does not report the molecular weight of the HA used, confounding factor not controlled for (use of Cetaphil cleanser), no control lotion used, worthless result on its own - needs a follow up controlled study.

    It's insane that they're allowed to conclude that "Improvement was noted in measured clinical parameters with use of topical low molecular weight hyaluronic acid. Topical low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is another option that may be considered for the treatment of rosacea in the adult population. Compliance and tolerance were excellent.".



    https://personal-care.evonik.com/product/personal-care/en/media-center/downloads/publications/Documents/sofw-hyacare-50.pdf < More interesting as they test different HA molecular weights: Shows that HA between 20 and 40 kilo Dalton produce a significant pro inflammatory response and should not be used, whereas 50 kD is OK and penetrates animal skin about 5x better than 800 kD HA and induced gene expression of 120 genes vs 40 for 800 kD HA.

    BUT, they do not do any control with their human in vivo test nor do they report the actual numbers and confidence of the results, hence it's likely BOGUS with only 12 female volunteers.










  • Still wondering about this, why not use both sodium pca AND sodium lactate?
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