Safety Assessment of Alkyl Ethylhexanoates as Used in Cosmetics

Int J Toxicol. 2015 Nov-Dec;34(3 Suppl):61S-73S. doi: 10.1177/1091581815617794.


The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel (Panel) assessed the safety of 16 alkyl ethylhexanoates for use in cosmetics, concluding that these ingredients are safe in cosmetic formulations in the present practices of use and concentrations when formulated to be nonirritating. The alkyl ethylhexanoates primarily function as skin-conditioning agents in cosmetics. The highest concentration of use reported for any of the alkyl ethylhexanoates is 77.3% cetyl ethylhexanoate in rinse-off formulations used near the eye, and the highest leave-on use reported is 52% cetyl ethylhexanoate in lipstick formulations. The Panel reviewed available animal and clinical data related to these ingredients, and the similarities in structure, properties, functions, and uses of ingredients from previous CIR assessments on constituent alcohols that allowed for extrapolation of the available toxicological data to assess the safety of the entire group.

Keywords: alkyl ethylhexanoates; cosmetics; safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Cosmetics / chemistry
  • Cosmetics / pharmacokinetics
  • Cosmetics / toxicity*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / chemistry
  • Dermatologic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Dermatologic Agents / toxicity*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Toxicity Tests


  • Cosmetics
  • Dermatologic Agents