Sodium sulfite is a sodium salt of sulfurous acid, an inorganic compound used in skin and hair care formulas for balancing pH and as a preservative, reducing agent, and antioxidant. It is a salt with a strong base and a weak acid, so the pH of the solution is 8-10 alkaline allowing formulators to balance concentrated acids with lower pH.
Thanks to antimicrobial properties, Sodium sulfite suppresses the growth of bacteria and molds, enhancing the shelf-life and safety of preparation. In addition, the sulfur is not fully oxidized in sulfites, so the salts of this acid can be oxidized until sulfates formation (SO32- →SO42-), exhibiting potent antioxidant properties and protecting skin cells from oxidative stress.
It is a beneficial ingredient in hair care formulations. Sodium sulfite restructures hair facilitating styling.