Disteardimonium Hectorite

What Is It?

Disteardimonium Hectorite is a modified clay compound in which some sodium cations of the clay (hectorite) have been replaced by stearyldimonium groups (which include carbon chains containing 18 carbons). In cosmetics and personal care products, Disteardimonium Hectorite is used in many product types including, eye makeup, face makeup, lipstick, deodorants and skin care products.

Why Is It Used?

In cosmetics and personal care products, Disteardimonium Hectorite functions as a dispersing agent – nonsurfactant.

Scientific Facts

Disteardimonium Hectorite is in a class of substances called quaternary ammonium compounds. Ingredients in this class all have a nitrogen atom bound to four alkyl groups. The nitrogen atom in these compounds always has a positive charge. The alkyl groups in Disteardimonium Hectorite are two stearyl groups (18 carbons each) and two methyl groups (1 carbon each).

Safety Information

The safety of Disteardimonium Hectorite has been reviewed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Disteardimonium Hectorite was safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products.

CIR Safety Review:

The CIR Expert Panel reviewed the safety of Disteardimonium Hectorite with other quaternary ammonium hectorite compounds including dihydrogenated tallow benzylmonium hectorite, stearalkonium hectorite and quaternium-19 hectorite. All of these compounds have high molecular weights and carry a positive charge; therefore, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that these compounds would not penetrate the skin. The related compounds, stearalkonium hectorite and dihydrogenated tallow benzylmonium hectorite were not genotoxic. Dihydrogenated tallow benzylmonium hectorite was not a reproductive or developmental toxicant. At concentrations used in cosmetic products, Disteardimonium Hectorite and the related quaternary ammonium hectorite compounds were not dermal irritants or sensitizers.

The CIR Expert Panel concluded that the available data were sufficient to support the safety of Disteardimonium Hectorite as used in cosmetics and personal care products. As long as the components used to make Disteardimonium Hectorite comply with European Union regulations regarding animal by-products, this ingredient 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.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm

More Scientific Information

Disteardimonium Hectorite is sold to the personal care products industry as a white, finely divided powder. It is used in products to thicken the product and to help suspend other ingredients.