Ethylhexylglycerin at a Glance

  • Skin-softening agent with mild humectant (hydration boosting) properties
  • Multitasks with preservative capabilities to improve formulary stability
  • Also popular in deodorants where it has an inhibiting effect on odor-causing bacteria
  • Proven track record of safety
  • Pale to colourless liquid as a raw material

Ethylhexylglycerin Description

Ethylhexylglycerin is a synthetic skin-softening agent. Ethylhexylglycerin can also be used as a preservative and carrier/suspending agent that boosts the efficacy of other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. It has been shown to have mild humectant properties leading to improved skin hydration without a sticky feel.

Ethylhexylglycerin is also popular in deodorant formulas where it has an inhibiting effect on odor-causing bacteria. Antibacterial action is also where it earns its keep as a preservative, but since it isn’t effective against other type of pathogens, it would always be used with more broad-spectrum preservatives.

As a raw material, ethylhexylglycerin is a pale to colourless liquid. It is formed by a condensation reaction between 2-ethyhexanol (an oil-like ingredient) and glycerine.

In 2013, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel deemed ethylhexylglycerin as safe used in up to 8% concentration in rinse-off products and up to 2% in leave-on formulas. Studies regarding sensitisation patch tests of 5% ethylhexylglycerin show that reactions to this ingredient are very rare and their occurrence in a broad population is considered low risk.

Ethylhexyglycerin References

PLoS One, October 2016, ePublication
Contact Dermatitis, May 2016, pages 281-288
International Journal of Toxicology, September 2013, pages 5S-21S
Personal Care, 2008, pages 1-4
Cosmetic Science Technology, 2006, pages 1-11

See glycerin

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