What Is It?
Arachidonic Acid is an oily liquid. In cosmetics and personal care products, Arachidonic Acid has been reported to be used in the formulation of face, body, and hand skin care products, moisturizers, wrinkle smoothers, as well as night and other skin care products.
Why Is It Used?
Arachidonic Acid has been reported to function as a skin conditioning agent – miscellaneous.
Arachidonic Acid is a A natural organic compound that consists of a carboxyl group (oxygen, carbon and hydrogen) attached to a chain of carbon atoms with their associated hydrogen atoms. The chain of carbon atoms may be connected with single bonds, making a ‘saturated’ fat; or it may contain some double bonds, making an ‘unsaturated’ fat. The number of carbon and hydrogen atoms in the chain is what determines the qualities of that particular fatty acid. Animal and vegetable fats are made up of various combinations of fatty acids (in sets of three) connected to a glycerol molecule, making them triglycerides. that can be found in liver, fish oils, butterfat and lard. In mammals, Arachidonic Acid can be made from linoleic acid; however, linoleic acid cannot be synthesized and must be obtained from plant sources. Because Arachidonic Acid serves many important biological functions, the precursors of Arachidonic Acid, linoleic and linolenic acids are required in the diet and are referred to as essential fatty acids.
The safety of Arachidonic Acid has been assessed by the The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel concluded that the data were insufficient to conclude whether or not Arachidonic Acid was safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products.
CIR Safety Review: Arachidonic Acid was well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and the circulatory system; it distributed rapidly into the Fat or fat-like substance found in the cells of plants and animals that includes fats, waxes, oils, and related compounds. compartment of the body and was rapidly converted to phospholipid by the liver. Arachidonic Acid affected the cutaneous immune response; in one study, the effect was more pronounced at lower test concentrations than at higher concentrations. Application of Arachidonic Acid to skin produced redness and inflammation, with high dosages possibly causing ulceration of the skin.
Arachidonic Acid was mutagenic. In 24 h single insult patch test, a formulation containing 0.04% Arachidonic Acid was not a skin irritant. Because of potential biological activity of Arachidonic Acid when applied to the skin, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that the data were insufficient to assess the safety of this ingredient as used in cosmetics and personal care products.
The CIR Expert Panel requested data on dermal absorption. Depending the results of dermal absoption studies, additional data may also be needed. Arachidonic Acid may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the Under the general provisions of the cosmetics regulation of the EU, ingredients appearing on the following function-specific annexes must comply with the listed restrictions and/or specifications: colorants (Annex IV), preservatives (Annex V), UV filters (Annex VI) and other ingredients with specific concentration limits and/or other restrictions (Annex III). Ingredients specifically prohibited from use in cosmetic products are listed in Annex II. Other ingredients listed in the EU cosmetic ingredient database (CosIng) may be used without restrictions.. Ingredients of animal origin must comply with European Union animal by-products regulations.
Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:
More Scientific Information
Arachidonic Acid is an essential, polyunsaturated, fatty acid. In cosmetics and personal care products, Arachidonic Acid functions as skin conditioning agent – miscellaneous.
Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm
EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/