Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate

Safety Information

Expert Panel for Cosmetic Ingredient Safety

The safety of PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate was assessed by the Expert Panel for Cosmetic Ingredient Safety (formerly the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel) in 2018. The Expert Panel evaluated available scientific data and concluded that PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate is safe in the present practices of use and concentration in cosmetics. After considering the large size of the PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate molecule, the Expert Panel agreed that absorption through skin is not expected. This, in combination with data demonstrating negative potential for effects on genetic material (i.e., genotoxicity), skin irritation and allergic skin reactions, provided the Expert Panel sufficient evidence to provide a positive assessment of the safety of PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate when used as a viscosity increasing agent in cosmetics products.

The Expert Panel assessed the potential presence of trace amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane (both byproducts of ethoxylation and known animal carcinogens) in products containing PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate as an ingredient. Current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) limit the concentration of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane to 1 part-per-million (ppm) and 5 ppm, respectively. The Expert Panel noted that concerns are not warranted about these impurities in the finished cosmetics products. In addition, the FDA stated that such small, residual amounts of 1,4-dioxane remaining in some cosmetics products do not present a hazard to consumers.

PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate  is listed in the EU’s Cosmetic Ingredient Database (CosIng) and may be used safely under the rules governing cosmetic products of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union and used as an emulsifying agent in cosmetics.


Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate

What Is It?

Polyethylene glycol (PEG)-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate is the tetraester of stearic acid and a PEG ether of pentaerythritol, with an average of 150 equivalents of ethylene oxide (See Figure 1).

Figure 1. PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate, wherein the sum of all instances of n is equal to 150.

Why Is It Used?

PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate functions as a viscosity increasing agent-aqueous in cosmetics products. According to a recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program data (VCRP), PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate was mostly used in rinse-off and leave-on products, including hair dyes and colors, as well as tonics, dressings and other hair grooming aids.