What Is It?

Phytantriol is an alcohol (polyol). In cosmetics and personal care products, Phytantriol is used most often in the formulation of hair care preparations and, less often, in skin and nail preparations.

Why Is It Used?

When used in the formulation of hair-care products, Phytantriol enhances the appearance and feel of hair by increasing body, suppleness or sheen, or by improving the texture of hair that has been damaged physically or by chemical treatment. Phytantriol enhances the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness. It is also used as a processing aid that prevents powdered or granular substances from forming clumps.

Scientific Facts

Phytantriol is a long-chained polyhydroxyl alcohol (polyol). Polyols are compounds which contain three or more hydroxyl groups per molecule. The most important members of this class are glycerin and sorbitol, which are used as humectants in skin preparations and oral-care products, and as cosolvents in these and other cosmetic products.

Safety Information

The safety of Phytantriol has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Phytantriol was safe as a cosmetic ingredient.

CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel noted that Phytantriol was not toxic in acute oral testing, and there were no structural alerts suggesting that the molecular structure of Phytantriol would possess reproductive or developmental toxicity or carcinogenic potential. The available genotoxicity data demonstrated that Phytantriol was not genotoxic. In addition, dermal penetration of Phytantriol was low, consistent with its chemical structure and molecular weight.

The CIR Expert Panel also considered that Phytantriol was used in products that may be aerosolized. Because current technology used for such cosmetic products produces particles that were not respirable, the absence of inhalation toxicity data was not considered relevant.

Some studies suggested that allergic reactions were possible at concentrations less than or equal to 3%; however, all of the irritation and sensitization data, when considered as a whole, suggested to the CIR Expert Panel that cosmetic products could be formulated at concentrations as high as 3% without significant irritation or sensitization. Phytantriol may be marketed for use as a cosmetic ingredient within the European Union according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

More Scientific Information

Phytantriol functions as an anticaking agent, hair conditioning agent and skin conditioning agent – miscellaneous in cosmetics. Anticaking agents are ingredients used to prevent the agglomeration of a particulate solid into lumps or cohesive cakes. Caking of cosmetic products is generally due to an absorptive process, especially hygroscopicity. Anticaking agents are commonly included in loose powders, which must remain free-flowing, especially when they are dispensed from aerosols or shaker-top containers. Anticaking agents are also useful processing aids whenever the flow of solids is hindered by agglomeration.