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Potassium Sulfate

* A thickening agent

* Also known as Potassium Sulphate or Sulphate of Potash (UK)


Potassium Sulfate is most commonly used as the primary chemical in fertilizer because of its ability to deliver both potassium and sulfur. However, it is also an ingredient in cosmetic and skin care formulas when used as a viscosity increasing agent or thickener (Wikipedia). Little more information is available regarding its use in the beauty industry, but is seen in a wide variety of products, including hair care formulas, moisturizers, and make up products.

Safety Measures/Side Effects:

Despite Potassium Sulfate's toxic reputation, it is considered a safe ingredient. The Cosmetics Database rates it as a low hazard ingredient and only notes lesser concerns that include organ system toxicity and neurotoxicity, stemming from studies showing brain, nervous system and respiratory effects in animals when exposed to Potassium Sulfate at high doses unlike those found in cosmetic and skin care formulas.

The Material Safety Data Sheet for Potassium Sulfate notes that there is "Not expected to be a health hazard from skin exposure" and "No adverse effects expected but dust may cause mechanical irritation" in regards to eye irritation. It is FDA approved and has received the GRAS rating as a food additive.

Recommended Products w/ Potassium Sulfate:

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