What Is It?

Nylon-6, Nylon 6/12, Nylon-11, Nylon-12, Nylon-66, Nylon-611 and Nylon-12/6/66 Copolymer are all polymers made of repeating units linked by amide bonds. In cosmetics and personal care products, the Nylon ingredients are used in the formulation of body and hand preparations, eye makeup, mascara, nail polish, and skin fresheners. Nylon-12 and Nylon-66 can also be found in bath products, deodorants, face makeup, indoor tanning preparations, lipsticks, moisturizers, night skin care products, paste masks, skin care products and suntan products.

Why Is It Used?

The following functions have been reported for the Nylon ingredients.

Absorbent – Nylon 6/12, Nylon-611

Bulking agent – Nylon-6, Nylon 6/12, Nylon-11, Nylon-12, Nylon-66

Film former – Nylon-12/6/66

Copolymer Opacifying agent – Nylon-6, Nylon 6/12, Nylon-11, Nylon-12, Nylon-66

Scientific Facts

The Nylon ingredients are all synthetic polymers. Polymers are high molecular weight molecules with repeating units prepared from relatively small chemical compounds called monomers. Nylon was discovered in 1935 and has diverse uses, including in clothing and rope, due to its unique properties as a flexible solid.

Safety Information

The safety of Nylon polymers has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that these ingredients were safe as used in cosmetics and personal care products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety of Nylon resins and approved their use as indirect food additives. Nylon resins may be used as components of single and repeated use food contact surfaces.

CIR Safety Review:

The CIR Expert Panel noted that based on the size of the Nylon polymers, Nylon has little potential to penetrate the skin. The CIR Expert Panel did express concern about the potential toxicity of monomer impurities that may be found with the Nylon polymer. Therefore, in addition to reviewing data on the Nylon polymers, the CIR Expert Panel reviewed data on the monomers, caprolactam and dodecanolactam. Data reviewed by the CIR Expert Panel did not reveal significant toxic effects following exposure to either the Nylon polymers or the monomers. The monomers were not genotoxic. Caprolactam was not carcinogenic. Products containing Nylon ingredients were not significant dermal irritants or sensitizers. Based on the available data, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that the Nylon polymers are safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products.

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Nylon resins http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr…

The Nylon ingredients 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

All the Nylon ingredients are polyamides. Nylon 6/12 is a polyamide formed by the reaction of caprolactam and dodecyllactam. Nylon-12 is a polyamide derived from 12-aminododecanoic acid. Nylon-66 is a polyamide formed by the reaction of adipic acid with hexylenediamine. Nylon-12/6/66 is a copolymer formed from the monomers used in the manufacture of Nylon-12, Nylon-6, and Nylon-66.


Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Food Ingredients and Packaging: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/default.htm

Food Contact Substances: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/default.htm

Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS): http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/default.htm

Search the FDA 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/