What Is It?

Choleth-24 is the polyethylene glycol ether of cholesterol that has an average of 24 ethylene glycol units. It is a waxy solid used in the formulation of makeup, lotions, and skin and hair care products.

Why Is It Used?

Choleth-24 reduces the surface tension of cosmetic ingredients which helps to form an emulsion. The efficacy of emulsifying agents depends on their ability to reduce surface tension, to form complex films on the surface of emulsified droplets, and to create a repulsive barrier on emulsified droplets to prevent their coalescence.

Scientific Facts

Choleth-24 is the polyethylene glycol ether of Cholesterol. Choleth-24 is derived from the cholesterol fraction of lanolin from sheep’s wool.

Safety Information

The safety of Choleth-24 has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel concluded that Choleth-24 is safe for topical application to humans in the present practices of use and concentration.

In 2002, as part of the scheduled re-review of ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on this ingredient and reaffirmed the above conclusion.

CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel noted that their earlier review of the safety of the Laneth ingredients was relevant to the safety assessment of the Choleth ingredients because of their similarity. The CIR Expert Panel already determined the Laneths to be safe at concentrations used in cosmetic formulations. Results from irritation and sensitization studies with Choleths correspond well with those for Laneths. Choleth-24 (undiluted and in formulation) was found to be nonirritating to mildly irritating and nonsensitizing. Limited data were available for the phototoxicity and photoallergenicity of Choleth-24 but clinical experience with it and the Laneths reveals no evidence suggesting that Choleth-24 is phototoxic or photoallergenic. Small amounts of 1,4-dioxane, a by-product of ethoxylation, may be found in Choleth-24. The potential presence of this material is well known and can be controlled through purification steps to remove it from the ingredients before blending into cosmetic formulations.

Link to more information about what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is doing to assure that cosmetics do not contain unsafe levels of 1,4-dioxane.…

Choleth-24 may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union. Ingredients of animal origin must comply with European Union animal by-products regulations.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

More Scientific Information

Choleth is the ethoxylated cholesterol fraction of lanolin alcohol and is used as a surfactant – emulsifying agent in cosmetics. Choleths are related to another group of lanolin-derived ingredients, Laneths, which may contain as much as 38% Choleth.