What Is It?
Alkyl glucoside ingredients are formed by reacting an alcohol or mixtures of alcohols (that vary by carbon chain length) with a cyclic form of the sugar, glucose or glucose polymers. For example Decyl Glucoside is formed by reacting a 10 carbon chain alcohol, decyl alcohol, with a cyclic form of glucose. Other alkyl glucoside ingredients that may be used in cosmetics include Arachidyl Glucoside, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Cetearyl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, Ethyl Glucoside and Lauryl Glucoside. Decyl Glucoside and the other alkyl glucoside ingredients may be used in baby products, bath products, cleansing products, skin care products, eye makeup and hair care products including hair dyes and colors.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
In cosmetics and personal care products, Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, Arachidyl Glucoside, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside and Coco-Glucoside are reported to function as surfactants – cleansing agents. C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside and Cetearyl Glucoside are reported to function as surfactants – emulsifying agents, while Ethyl Glucoside is reported to function as a skin-conditioning agent – humectant.
Arachidyl proprionate (or glucoside) is NOT derived from peanuts (Arachis hypogaea). Therefore, use of this ingredient in cosmetic products does not represent an allergy concern for children (or adults) with peanut allergies. Alkyl glucosides consist of alkyl groups bound to glucose in the D-glycopyranoside form. The glucose portion of the compound may consist of mono-, di-, tri-, oligo- or polysaccharides. For example, Decyl Glucoside with a degree of polymerization of 1.6 is a mixture of decyl monosaccharide (glucopyranoside) and decyl disaccharide (also called maltopyranoside). These ingredients are generally sold as aqueous solutions containing 50-65% of the ingredient.
The safety of Decyl Glucoside, Arachidyl Glucoside, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Cetearyl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, Ethyl Glucoside and Lauryl Glucoside 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 when formulated to be non-irritating.
More safety Information:
CIR Safety Review:
The CIR Expert Panel reviewed a study that indicated that Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside (alkyl chain length: a mixture of 8 and 10 carbons in length) was not readily absorbed through the skin. At high concentrations Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside was irritating and long-term skin irritation resulted in other adverse effects including body weight loss. No other adverse effects were observed at concentrations that did not cause skin irritation. Lauryl Glucoside was not a reproductive or developmental toxicant. Alkyl glucoside ingredients have not been found to be genotoxic. Clinical tests of products containing alkyl glucoside ingredients have found that the products were not dermal irritants or sensitizers.
Based on the data reviewed, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that the alkyl glucoside ingredients, including Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, Arachidyl Glucoside, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside and Coco-Glucoside were safe for use in cosmetics when formulated to be non-irritating. Decyl Glucoside, Arachidyl Glucoside, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Cetearyl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, Ethyl Glucoside and Lauryl Glucoside 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:
Alkyl polyglucosides (sometimes abbreviated APGs) is a general term often used for Decyl Glucoside and other alkyl glucoside ingredients.
Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm
EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/cosmetics/inci/inci_2006.pdf