Petroleum Distillates

What Is It?

Petroleum Distillates is a clear, colorless liquid. In cosmetics and personal care products, Petroleum Distillates may be used in makeup, hair, nail, and skin care products.

Why Is It Used?

Petroleum Distillates is used to dissolve other substances, usually liquids, in cosmetics and personal care products.

Scientific Facts

Petroleum Distillates is a broad term that refers to any one of numerous petroleum fractions.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes odorless light petroleum hydrocarbons on its list of multipurpose direct food additives. The safety of Petroleum Distillates has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Petroleum Distillates was safe as a cosmetic ingredient. In 2006, as part of its regular re-review of cosmetic ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on this ingredient and reaffirmed the above conclusion.

CIR Safety Review: Subchronic tests on a formulation containing 41.75% Petroleum Distillates did not reveal any adverse effects. Moderate skin irritation and mild, transient eye irritation were observed following a single exposure to undiluted Petroleum Distillates. Cosmetic formulations containing 29.2-55% Petroleum Distillates were generally nonirritating, and nonsensitizing, and nonphotosensitizing to human skin. It was concluded that Petroleum Distillates, as characterized in the report, was safe as a cosmetic ingredient.

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Petroleum hydrocarbons…

Petroleum is listed in Annex II of the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union and must not form part of the composition of cosmetics and personal care products.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

More Scientific Information

Cosmetic grade Petroleum Distillates consists predominantly of 10 to 16 carbon paraffinic, naphthenic, and isoparaffinic hydrocarbons. In cosmetics and personal care products, Petroleum Distillates functions as a solvent or as a component of solvent systems.