Polyquaternium-10

What Is It?

Polyquaternium-10 is a white granular powder with a characteristic amine odor. In cosmetics and personal care products, it is used mainly in the formulation of hair care products, lotions and makeup.

Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

When used in hair care products, Polyquaternium-10 can reduce static electricity. It enhances the appearance and feel of hair, by increasing hair body, suppleness, or sheen, or by improving the texture of hair that has been damaged physically or by chemical treatment.

Scientific Facts:

Polyquaternium-10 is also known as Quaternium-19. It adsorbs well to proteinaceous surfaces, such as the proteins in hair. It is in the chemical class known as quaternary ammonium compounds (generally referred to as a “Quat”). These compounds are positively charged tetra-substituted nitrogen derivatives.

Safety Information:

The safety of Polyquaternium-10 has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Polyquaternium-10 was safe as a cosmetic ingredient. In 2005, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Polyquaternium-10 and reaffirmed the above conclusion.

More safety Information:

CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel reviewed toxicity studies which indicated that Polyquaternium-10 has a low order of toxicity. Skin penetration studies indicated that Polyquaternium-10 adhered to keratin tissue and was poorly absorbed. Studies using 5.0% Polyquaternium-10 indicated that this ingredient was at most only mildly irritating to the skin or eyes, and studies with 2.0% Polyquaternium-10 indicated that this ingredient was neither an irritant nor a sensitizer. Similar negative results were obtained from product formulations containing Polyquaternium-10; including data indicating that this ingredient was not a photosensitizer.

Polyquaternium-10 was not found to be genotoxic. Polyquaternium-10 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.

EU Cosmetic Regulation

More Scientific Information:

Polyquaternium-10 is a polymeric quaternary ammonium salt of hydroxyethyl cellulose that is positively charged. At high pH, the presence of hydroxyl groups may reduce the normally high water solubility of quaternary ammonium compounds. The charge on Polyquaternium-10 makes this compound an antistatic agent which helps prevent the condition commonly known as fly-away hair. It is also used as a film former and a hair fixative.