• Derived from: coconut
  • Pronunciation: (e-thəlˈ\hek-səl\ˈglis-rən)
  • Type: Synthetic

What Is Ethylhexylglycerin?

Ethylhexylglycerin is a clear liquid preservative derived from vegetable glycerin, often coconut or palm oil.

What Does Ethylhexylglycerin Do in Our products?

Ethylhexylglycerin has three jobs in our products: prevent the product from spoiling, keep the product from separating, and soften your skin. It does this by breaking the surface tension in liquids — allowing them to mix together and “soak in” better. The emollient aspect of the ingredient’s vegetable glycerin source also makes our products feel creamier and softer on skin, and its antimicrobial qualities help fight germs and bacteria.[1,2,3]

Why Puracy Uses Ethylhexylglycerin

Ethylhexylglycerin is a fantastic multitasker. For one thing, it’s a much safer substitute for parabens, which are very controversial.[5,6] It also helps keep bacteria and germs off your skin and from forming inside the bottle, which in turn prevents body odor and other unfavorable scents from proliferating.[7] It also keeps our products perfectly blended and has an added bonus of making your skin feel soft and smooth. Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[8] According to studies published by the American Contact Dermatitis Society and the journal Contact Dermatitis, ethylhexylglycerin is rarely an allergen.[9]

How Ethylhexylglycerin Is Made

Ethylhexylglycerin is a type of alkyl glyceryl ether that is made via a process called etherification. One way to make it involves reacting the sodium salt of acetone glycerol with hexadecyl iodide in boiling glycol dimethyl ether, yielding the acetone compound of α-hexadecyl glycerol. Hydrolysis of the protecting group with acetic acid results in the formation of chimyl alcohol. Alternatively, ethylhexylglycerin can be made by reducing triglycerides with lithium aluminum hydride and boron trifluoride etherate, followed by LAH hydrogenolysis. Catalytic splitting of ethylhexylglycidyl ether, followed by the addition of water, also produces the chemical. The product can then be purified by vacuum distillation.[4]


[1]Aerts, O., Verhulst, L., Goossens, A.Ethylhexylglycerin: a low-risk, but highly relevant, sensitizerin ‘hypo-allergenic’ cosmetics" Contact Dermatitis 74, 281–288
[3]Personal Care Council
[4]Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[6]Food and Drug Administration
[7]Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[8]Whole Foods Market
 [9]Sasseville, D., Stanciu, M.Allergic Contact Dermatitis From Ethylhexylglycerin in Sunscreens" Dermatitis (2014)  Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p 42–43
Mortz, C., Otkjaer, A., Andersen, K.Allergic contact dermatitis to ethylhexylglycerin and pentylene glycol" Contact Dermatitis 61(3):180

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