What is Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate?

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?!) is a chemical preservative commonly found in “natural” cosmetics which helps prevent bacterial or fungal growth.

A lot of customers have been turning to Pai as a result of severe reactions to this ingredient in other products, so I thought I’d put together a bit more information on the subject.

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate is a skin irritant in high doses, and should therefore only be found in products at a concentration of 0.1% or less.

Reactions usually entail a stinging or burning sensation, and reddening of the skin.

While there is a lot more controversy surrounding Parabens at the moment, far more people are sensitive to Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, and yet I have noticed several manufacturers replace their Paraben preservatives with this in an attempt to avoid any associated bad press.

I have also noticed Sodium Hydroxmethylglycinate described as “organic” or naturally derived from glycine, an amino acid.

This is definitely something that I’d contest, as the ingredient goes through a rigorous manufacturing process involving a multitude of chemicals.

Indeed, one of the particular problems highlighted is that Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate is sometimes contaminated with yet another controversial ingredient, Formaldehyde, which is used during manufacture.

While many people come to organic skin care after reacting to chemicals in their usual products, finding a range laced with Sodium Hydroxymethylglycimate will certainly not solve the problem.

As all of Pai’s products are formulated with sensitive skin in mind, we only use truly natural preservatives and aviod irritating or potentially harmful ingredients such as Parabens and, you guessed it, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate.

Sodium Hydroxymethlyglycinate is also listed as:

GLYCINE, N- (HYDROXYMETHYL) -. MONOSODIUM SALT;
GLYCINE, N- (HYDROXYMETHYL) -, SODIUM SALT;
N- (HYDROXYMETHYL) GLYCINE, SODIUM SALT;
N- (HYDROXYMETHYL) -. MONOSODIUM SALT GLYCINE;
SODIUM SALT GLYCINE, N- (HYDROXYMETHYL) -;
SODIUM SALT N- (HYDROXYMETHYL) GLYCINE;
N- (HYDROXYMETHYL) – SODIUM SALT GLYCINE;
SODIUM HYDROXYMETHYLGLYCINATE;
GLYCINE, N- (HYDROXYMETHYL) -, MONOSODIUM SALT;
HYDROXYMETHYLAMINOACETIC ACID,
SODIUM SALT;
SODIUM N- (HYDROXYMETHYL) GLYCINATE