Chlorhexidine digluconate is a salt of chlorhexidine and gluconic acid. Chlorhexidine is a disinfectant and antiseptic that has multiple uses in the medical field. For instance, it is used for skin disinfection before surgery, cleaning wounds, preventing dental plaque, treating yeast infections of the mouth, and more. In cosmetics and personal care products, chlorhexidine digluconate functions as a biocide, which means that it helps cleanse the skin and eliminates odor by destroying the growth of microorganisms. It is used as an additive in creams, lotions, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorants, antiperspirants, and a variety of other products.
The antimicrobial properties of chlorhexidine digluconate also make it an effective preservative that protects a cosmetic formulation from contamination and spoilage. The use of preservatives in cosmetics is important because these types of products have a high potential for microbial contamination and growth. The most susceptible products are creams and lotions that are packaged in jars, opened frequently, and applied to the skin with the fingers. Microbial contamination can lead to significant health problems, from skin irritation to infections. Chlorhexidine digluconate helps to prevent these problems and also extends a product’s shelf life.