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Is Borax Safe For Your Skin?

By: Rima Chowdhury

Many people have raised a question on the popular hoax, "if borax is safe for your skin".

There are several numbers of cosmetic products available in the market, which include a very small amount of borax in it.


It has also been known as one of the best cleansing agents, which is often used in laundry and cleaning household items. Other than these, borax is also used as pesticides for the plants.

But the real concern is - "is borax safe to be used on skin?" If you have been concerned about the same, read on to know more.

What Is Borax?

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Borax is sodium tetraborate or sodium borate. However, many think borax is boric acid, i.e., hydrogen borate. The crystals of borax are formed when the water on the mountain runoff and lakebeds evaporates.

Borax was found in Persia some 4000 years ago and since then, it has been used in several works throughout the world. Borax is the salt of a boric acid, which is not chemically same and affective as Boric acid. Boric acid is much more effective than boric salt.

When borax is introduced in water it converts the water molecules to hydrogen peroxide, which helps to give you a bleaching effect. Due to boron present in borax, if used in excess quantity, it may destroy the plants and lead to poisoning. However, when used in a very small quantity, it may prove to be useful to the plants.

Is Borax Safe?


Most of the products we use in our day-to-day life contain small quantities of borax in it. When borax comes in contact with the skin, it supplements a few minerals to the skin. Because borax is also used as fertilizer, people have become cautious whether borax is really good for the skin or not.

Cosmetics may not harm your skin unless and until the amount of borax used in it does not exceed the recommended range. According to studies, borax is nothing but a mild irritant that does not have serious damage on the skin.

Because of its alkaline nature, it may cause slight irritation on the skin. And because it does not penetrate deeply through the skin layers, it is considered to be safe and can be used on the skin to a certain extent.

According to studies, it is said that the toxins present in borax generally affect men by causing serious problem to the testicles, leading to reduced sperm count. This is the crucial reason why borax is actually banned in the US.

However, other than this, cosmetics with borax should be avoided by a pregnant woman, as it may lead to a risk of birth defects. Excessive exposure of borax can generally lead to the abnormal foetal development and also contribute to brain abnormalities.

It is said that exposure to borax can not lead to cancer; but prolonged exposure of borax (more than 10 years) may affect the skin and also lead to liver cancer. It may also lead to peeling of the skin and contribute to liver failure.

Some of the common uses of borax are as follows:

  • Borax is used in most of the cosmetic products
  • It is used as a dishwashing agent 
  • It is used as a cleaning product
  • It is used as a fertilizer
Read more about: risk, clear skin, skin care
Story first published: Monday, November 14, 2016, 15:00 [IST]
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