EDTA (ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid) and its salts, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Diammonium EDTA, Dipotassium EDTA, Disodium EDTA, TEA-EDTA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tripotassium EDTA and Trisodium EDTA, and the related ingredients HEDTA (hydroxyethyl ethylenediamine triacetic acid) and its trisodium salt, Trisodium HEDTA, are crystalline powders often sold as aqueous solutions.
These ingredients are used in cosmetics and personal care products to prevent deterioration.
EDTA salts bind to metal ions in cosmetic and personal care products that would inactivate them if unbound. This binding prevents the deterioration of the products and maintains clarity, protects fragrance compounds, and prevents rancidity.
EDTA salt is considered to be a low to moderate hazard ingredient with concerns of carcinogenic properties, organ system toxicity and irritation, and enhanced skin absorption. In cosmetics and personal care products, however, EDTA salt is said to result in very little skin penetration and systemic levels well below those shown to product adverse effects in oral studies.