Boric Acid for Eyes? Eye-Care Products Get Soothing, Protective Benefits from Borates

:: Tuesday, May 28, 2019
They are the windows to the soul. They enable the beholder to identify beauty. They allow us to speak without words. And staring into them can create the deepest of human connections.
Our eyes are precious. Manufacturers of eye-care products such as eye drops, sterile saline solutions, contact lens rewetting and lubricating drops, and sterile eye washes take extreme measures to ensure the safety and efficacy of their products. For these manufacturers, ensuring the highest quality of the products they sell starts with a close partnership with the suppliers who provide their key ingredients.
U.S. Borax’s commitment to quality, purity, and adherence to regulatory standards has made it the borate supplier of choice for the best-known eye-care brands.

In eye-care products, borates offer a range of benefits

Borates are key ingredients in eye-care products. For generations, boric acid has been used in soothing eye washes as a home remedy. Today, both prescription and over-the-counter solutions rely on its beneficial qualities. Eye-care products include small amounts of boric acid or borax decahydrate to take advantage of their:
  • Mild antibiotic properties, which help support the treatment of fungal or bacterial infections
  • Buffering properties, which help maintain a stable pH
  • Compatible tonicity, which helps ensure the product won’t disrupt the natural chemistry of the user’s eyes

These properties offer a range of advantages in eye-care products.
  • Boric acid ophthalmic solution is an eye wash used to cleanse or irrigate the eyes. Boric acid provides soothing relief from eye irritation and helps remove pollutants such as smog, chlorine, or other chemicals.
  • In eye drops and artificial tears, borax decahydrate EP/NF and Optibor® EP/NF are used in small quantities for providing pH control and moisture retention.
  • For contact lens care, saline solution removes loosened debris and traces of daily cleaner when used as a rinse after chemical or hydrogen peroxide disinfection. Sterile saline solutions for contact lenses are often buffered with small quantities of borax decahydrate EP/NF and Optibor EP/NF.
  • Lubricating and rewetting drops help moisten soft contact lenses. The special buffering properties of borax decahydrate EP/NF and Optibor EP/NF make contact lens wear more comfortable.

To produce all these products, manufacturers adhere to strict internal and government compliance requirements. And they must ensure their suppliers meet the same high standards.

Commitment to safety and efficacy of eye-care products: Start with the purest ingredients

In the highly competitive personal care industry, product makers diligently work to continually reformulate and improve their products and processes to bring their customers greater value—and reduce their manufacturing costs. To support these efforts, most personal care product makers form close working relationships with raw material suppliers who can provide both expertise in developing specific formulations and strict regulatory compliance and traceability.
U.S. Borax provides eye-care product makers with the exceptional high quality they require through our subsidiary, Borax Français, in Coudekerque, France. There, our refined borates undergo an additional refining process to produce the purified ingredients required for highly regulated pharmaceutical applications.
Borax Français was the first borate producer to acquire GMP certification (PDF), and it produces our EP and NF borate products under GMP and ICH guidelines. Its CEPs for borax (PDF) and boric acid (PDF) conform to the certification requirements of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM).
All of these strict certifications mean that our EP and NF borate products reliably provide the low level of elemental impurities required for eye-care products. In addition, the newly released Optibor 3C provides a borate that complies with the three leading global compendia: EP, NF, and JP.

Pioneering solutions for modern personal care needs

The pithy 19th-century writer Christian Nestell Bovee quipped, “Tears are nature's lotion for the eyes. The eyes see better for being washed by them.”
Of course, Bovee and his contemporaries didn’t have to contend with the types of stresses, pollutants, and screens that modern people do. Tears can often use a little help to provide the soothing care we need in our environment today.
Through partnerships with reliable, expert suppliers, eye-care product makers help enhance everyday health and comfort for their customers.
Now that’s a relief!


U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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