Ethylhexylglycerin
Fri, July 31, 2009 at 12:00 PM
[Stephanie Greenwood]

Today's Chemical:

Ethylhexylglycerin

EWG Risk Score:

1

What is it?

Ethylhexylglycerin is a conditioning agent and preservative.

Why is it a risk?

Two studies have found it to be a skin irritant, even at low concentrations, so people with sensitive skin may experience contact dermatitis.  In addition, it is an eye irritant in animal studies.  Reactions are typically low, however. (Source)

What Type of Products is it in?

Lotions, washes, shampoo, conditioner

Steph's Opinion:

Ethylhexylglycerin is a relatively new chemical on the market.  Many companies use it as an alternative to parabens and claim that it's from natural sources.  Yes, it may have started out as a vegetable oil, but it's gone through several chemical processes to become what it is.  This isn't the worst ingredient in the world, but it's also not truly natural, and safety data is highly lacking for this ingredient. There are only four studies or reviews published in the National Library of Medicine. 

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19780779

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17680873

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492553

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