What Is It?

Quaternium-22 is a light amber-colored liquid. In cosmetics and personal care products, it is used in the formulation of hair care products and preparations, as well as in bath soaps and skin care preparations.

Why Is It Used?

Quaternium-22 enhances the appearance and feel of hair by increasing hair body, suppleness, and sheen; or by improving the texture of hair that has been damaged physically or by chemical treatment. It also prevents or inhibits the buildup of static electricity. Quaternium-22 dries to form a thin coating on the skin, hair, or nails.

Scientific Facts

Quarternium-22 is a quaternary ammonium compound (generally referred to as a “Quat”) that is a positively charged tetra-substituted nitrogen derivative and contains a carbohydrate molecule. Cosmetic grade Quaternium-22 is supplied as a 60% solids solution.

Safety Information

The safety of Quaternium-22 has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Quaternium-22 was safe for use in cosmetic and personal care products.

CIR Safety Review: Quaternium-22 is used in cosmetic products at concentrations up to 5% solids. Based on its chemical structure, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that Quaternium-22 was poorly absorbed through the skin. The CIR Expert Panel discussed the presence of impurities in commercial samples of Quaternium-22 but concluded that there were no toxic effects of Quaternium-22 due to the presence of impurities. Neverthless, the CIR Expert Panel set recommended limits on the concentrations of 3-dimethylaminopropylamine and ethylene chlorohydrin impurities in Quaternium-22 of 0.2% and 0.008%, respectively, in the finished cosmetic product.

These limitations were established, taking into consideration the maximum concentration of each impurity in the raw material (60% solids) and the maximum use concentration of Quaternium-22 in cosmetic products (5% solids). Quaternium-22 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: 

More Scientific Information

Quaternium-22 is a quaternary ammonium salt used as a film former, hair conditioning agent, and an antistatic agent. This ingredient has reportedly also been used as an emollient and skin conditioner. The quaternary nitrogen atom in these compounds always carries a cationic charge regardless of the pH of the system. At high pHs, the anion may be OH-, which may reduce the normally high water solubility of quaternary ammonium compounds. The positive charge on the quats makes them substantive to the slightly negatively charged skin and hair proteins. This accounts for the use of most monomeric and polymeric quats for all types of hair and skin conditioning purposes, and as antistatics. Some of the polymeric quats find use as hair setting and styling products.