Ethylhexylglycerin

What Is It?

Ethylhexylglycerin is an alkyl glyceryl ether. This means that the ethylhexyl group is bound to glycerin at one end by an ether linkage. Although they are also alkyl glyceryl ethers, Batyl Alcohol and Chimyl Alcohol (may also be called Cetyl Glyceryl Ether) have traditionally been used as cosmetic labeling names for these alkyl glyceryl ethers. Glyceryl Lauryl Ether and Isostearyl Glyceryl Ether are also alkyl glyceryl ethers that may be used in cosmetic products.

Despite the different types of names for these ingredients, they all consist of an alkyl group bound to glycerin by an ether linkage. Ethylhexylglycerin and the other alkyl glyceryl ether ingredients may be used in bath products, body and hand products, cleansing products, deodorants, eye makeup, foundations, hair care products and suntan products.

Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

The following functions have been reported for the alkyl glyceryl ether ingredients:

  • Deodorant agent — Ethylhexylglycerin
  • Emulsion stabilizer — Batyl Alcohol
  • Skin-conditioning agent — emollient — Chimyl Alcohol, Isostearyl Glyceryl Ether
  • Skin-conditioning agent — miscellaneous — Ethylhexylglycerin
  • Skin-conditioning agent — occlusive — Batyl Alcohol
  • Surfactants — emulsifying agent –Glyceryl Lauryl Ether

In cosmetic products, Ethylhexylglycerin has also been reported to enhance the function of some preservatives.

Scientific Facts:

The alkyl glyceryl ether ingredients, including Ethylhexylglycerin are solids at room temperature and are generally poorly soluble in water. Ethylhexylglycerin may enhance the function of preservatives by affecting the cell walls of bacteria promoting destruction of the bacteria by the preservative.

Safety Information:

The safety of Ethylhexylglycerin, Chimyl Alcohol, Batyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Lauryl Ether and Isostearyl Glyceryl Ether 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 for use in cosmetics.

More safety Information:

CIR Safety Review:

The CIR Expert Panel reviewed the safety of alkyl glyceryl ethers including Ethylhexylglycerin, Chimyl Alcohol (also called Cetyl Glyceryl Ether), Batyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Lauryl Ether and Isostearyl Glyceryl Ether. Data reviewed indicated that about 50% of the Ethylhexylglycerin placed on the skin may be absorbed. Large oral doses of Ethylhexylglycerin for 13-weeks resulted in effects on the liver. Lower doses did not cause any adverse effects. Ethylhexylglycerin was not a reproductive or developmental toxicant. Ethylhexylglycerin, Chimyl Alcohol and Batyl Alcohol were not genotoxic. Undiluted Ethylhexylglycerin is an eye irritant, while a 5% concentration only causes mild eye irritation. Undiluted Ethylhexylglycerin and Chimyl Alcohol are mild skin irritants. Ethylhexylglycerin is not a dermal sensitizer.

Based on the available data and the similar structures of these ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that Ethylhexylglycerin, Chimyl Alcohol, Batyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Lauryl Ether and Isostearyl Glyceryl Ether were safe as used in cosmetic products. The alkyl glyceryl ethers, including Ethylhexylglycerin, 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:

Ethylhexylglycerin, Chimyl Alcohol, Batyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Lauryl Ether and Isostearyl Glyceryl Ether are all ethers. For these ether compounds, one group is glycerin which has two additional hydroxyl groups. The presence of the hydroxyl (-OH) groups has resulted in two of these compounds being named as alcohols.