Hexylene Glycol: What Is It?

Have you ever heard of hexylene glycol? Chances are, you haven’t, but it’s actually a very common ingredient found in many types of products. In this blog post, we’ll tell you all about hexylene glycol and what it is used for. So, if you’re curious to learn more, keep reading!
hexylene glycol

What Is Hexylene Glycol

Hexylene glycol is a clear, colorless liquid with a sweet, rose-like odor. It is miscible with water, alcohol, and many organic solvents. Hexylene glycol is used as a surfactant and emulsifying ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products. It functions as a humectant, meaning it helps keep products moist by drawing water from the air. Hexylene glycol can be found in makeup removers, skin care products, shaving creams, shampoos, conditioners, and fragrances. 

Hexylene glycol is also used as an ingredient in fog machines. When heated, it turns into a dense white fog that simulates the appearance of smoke. This effect is often used in stage productions and nightclubs. 

In addition to its use in cosmetics and personal care products, hexylene glycol is also used as an antifreeze in automotive engine coolants and hydraulic fluids. It prevents these substances from freezing or boiling over at high temperatures. Hexylene glycol is also used as a heat transfer fluid in solar panels and as a de-icing agent for aircraft.

About Glycols

The structure of hexylene glycol is similar to that of other aliphatic diols such as ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. The main difference between hexylene glycol and these other compounds is the presence of a methyl group on the carbon atom adjacent to the carbonyl group. This methyl group makes hexylene glycol more polar than ethylene glycol and propylene glycol, and it also increases the boiling point of hexylene glycol.

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Hexylene Glycol in Cosmetics

Glycols are a family of compounds that have a wide range of applications. One common use for glycols is as emulsifiers and surfactants. In particular, hexylene glycol is often used in these applications due to its low toxicity and biodegradability. As an emulsifier, hexylene glycol helps to keep oil and water from separating. This makes it ideal for use in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. As a surfactant, hexylene glycol reduces the surface tension of liquids. This allows it to be used in cleaners and detergents, where it helps to break down dirt and grime. In addition, hexylene glycol is also used as an antifreeze and coolant. Due to its low toxicity, hexylene glycol is a safe and effective choice for these applications.

How Safe It Hexylene Glycol

Although hexylene glycol is considered safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products, it can cause skin irritation and eye irritation. If swallowed, it can also cause gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. For this reason, hexylene glycol should be used with caution.

While it is considered to be safe for most people, some individuals may be allergic to it. The symptoms of a hexylene glycol allergy can range from mild to severe, and may include skin irritation, hives, and difficulty breathing. In some cases, an allergy to hexylene glycol can be life-threatening. If you suspect that you may be allergic to hexylene glycol, it is important to speak to a doctor or allergist for diagnosis and treatment.

Is Hexylene Glycol Vegan?

The answer is as simple as yes. Hexylene glycol is synthetic, and no animal products are used in the process of producing it. However, sadly, some companies continue to test their products on animals. So if you want to ensure the product with hexylene glycol is truly vegan, look for an animal cruelty-free stamp on the label. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use products containing hexylene glycol is a personal one, but as for the substance itself, it’s vegan. 

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