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* A chelating agent
Pentasodium Pentetate is a chelating agent used in cosmetics and beauty products "prevent various mineral components from binding together and negatively affecting the formulation" (Source). It is the salt of Pentetic Acid, and is a compound that binds metal and inactivates metallic ions, such as calcium and magnesium, to help maintain the stability and appearance of cosmetic products. This inactivation also helps to prevent the oxidative deterioration of cosmetics and personal care products, according to CosmeticsInfo.org.
The addition of chelating agents to hard water causes metals to form a complex with the chelating agent, creating superior foaming and cleaning performance. Pentasodium Pentetate also dissolves metals, preventing them from being deposited onto the hair, scalp and skin.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
The absence of significant skin penetration of all chelating agents means that Pentasodium Pentetate did not pose any reproductive or developmental toxicity risk when used in cosmetics and personal care products. However, it can be an eye irritant (Source).
The Cosmetic Database rates Pentasodium Pentetate as a low hazard when formulated to avoid irritation, but should not be used on broken skin or infants.