Sodium Chloride

What is it?

Sodium chloride is simply purified salt from the earth. Salt is found naturally in underground mines, but the most abundant source is sea water.

What does it do?

Salt has a long history of uses in the world. Egyptian and Greek medicines both used salt based remedies and it is still commonly used today. Many believe that salt has natural healing principles, and it can be found in baths, inhalations and in many body care products.1

We use sodium chloride in some of our cleansing products as a thickener, as it enhances product consistency. In our oral care products, we use sodium chloride (sea salt) to deliver a unique flavor experience.

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

The sodium chloride used in our toothpaste and mouthwash is derived from seawater. The seawater brine is distilled, solar evaporated and filtered to become pure food-grade sodium chloride. The sodium chloride used in our cleansing products, is prepared in a similar process however the source of brine is from salt mines.

What are the alternatives?

In personal care there are other thickeners that can be used such as carbomer, which is synthetic, and therefore would not meet our Stewardship Model standards for natural, responsible and sustainable.

There can be anti-caking additives in salts, but we were careful to choose one without any additives.  The additives that are used generally would not meet our Stewardship Model and they are just not necessary in our applications.

There are also a variety of other natural salts available, such as magnesium chloride, but we chose sodium chloride because of its abundance and long historical use.

Is this the right option for me?

Sodium chloride occurs naturally in seawater and in the mineral form is called halite (or, more  commonly, rock salt). Salt is an essential constituent of biological organisms. It is found in most tissues and body fluids and plays an important role in many physiological processes, such as transport of nutrients and waste, nervous system functions, and water and electrolyte balance. Sodium Chloride is considered to be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US FDA.

Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.