Sodium Lactate, a 60% concentration in water, and is the sodium salt of natural L(+)-Lactic Acid, produced through the fermentation of sugar, an alpha hydroxy acid that occurs everywhere in nature.
Sodium Lactate is one of the Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) constituent of skin, required in the maintenance of natural hydration. Sodium Lactate is a superior moisturizer, increasing the moisture content of skin by up to 84%. When compared to other commonly used moisturizers, it’s water holding capacity is second only to Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), as referenced by the table below.
Sodium Lactate is an edible material that has been used for decades in the meat-packing industry because it effectively forces cells to hold water.
Sodium lactate is especially useful when creating soap that is palm free, or contains a high amount of soft oils. In the Palm Free in the Pot Swirl tutorial, adding sodium lactate would assist in unmolding. This is especially true for the Castile Cubes Tutorial, which is created with 100% olive oil. Castile soap is notoriously soft and requires a long cure time. Using sodium lactate makes these soap easier to unmold, which speeds up the drying process.
Sodium lactate can also be used in lotions to create a thicker, more hydrating product. In the Fresh Face Oil Free Lavender Lotion and Argan and Shea Lotion recipes, sodium lactate is used to create a creamier texture. The humectant properties of sodium lactate keeps skin moisturized longer.