1,2-Hexanediol: What Is It, Cosmetic Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: March 26, 2024
Table of Contents

Understanding the world of cosmetics can sometimes feel like trying to decipher a complex scientific equation, especially when you start looking at the list of ingredients on the back of your favorite products. All those scientific names can be quite daunting!

One such ingredient that you might have come across is 1,2-Hexanediol. It’s a common component in many cosmetic products, but what exactly is it?

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the world of 1,2-Hexanediol, exploring what it is, why it’s used in cosmetics, and what benefits and side effects it might have.

What is 1,2-Hexanediol?

1,2-Hexanediol is a versatile ingredient that you’ll often find in the list of ingredients on your cosmetic products. It may also be known by other names such as Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, or 1,2-Dihydroxyhexane.

This ingredient is synthetically made, usually from a process involving the hydrogenation of certain types of aldehydes or ketones. Its main purpose within cosmetic products is to act as a skin conditioning agent and a solvent. This means it helps to soften and smoothen the skin while also dissolving other ingredients in the formulation, making the product easier to spread and absorb.

1,2-Hexanediol is not typically sold as a standalone product. Instead, you’ll find it as part of a wider formulation of ingredients within a product’s formulation, contributing to the product’s overall effectiveness and feel.

Who Can Use 1,2-Hexanediol?

1,2-Hexanediol is suitable for all skin types. Whether you have dry, oily, combination, or sensitive skin, this ingredient can help to condition your skin and improve the texture of your cosmetic products.

Good news for vegans and vegetarians – 1,2-Hexanediol is suitable for you too! It’s synthetically made, meaning no animal products or by-products are involved in its production.

As for pregnant and breastfeeding women, there’s no specific evidence suggesting that 1,2-Hexanediol is unsafe. However, as with any ingredient, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

1,2-Hexanediol’s Cosmetic Benefits/Uses

The benefits and uses listed in this section pertain specifically to the cosmetic applications of 1,2-Hexanediol. This ingredient may have other uses in various industries, but those are beyond the scope of this article. The cosmetic benefits of 1,2-Hexanediol are based on its official functions as a skin conditioning agent and a solvent.

  • Skin Conditioning: As a skin conditioning agent, 1,2-Hexanediol helps to keep the skin hydrated, soft, and smooth. It achieves this by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface that helps to prevent moisture loss. This barrier also protects the skin from environmental stressors such as pollutants and harsh weather conditions. The result is skin that feels more supple and appears healthier and more radiant. Furthermore, 1,2-Hexanediol can also enhance the penetration of other ingredients into the skin, thereby boosting their effectiveness.
  • Solvent: In cosmetics, 1,2-Hexanediol is used as a solvent, which means it helps to dissolve or disperse other ingredients in a formulation. This is crucial for ensuring that the active ingredients in a product are evenly distributed, which in turn guarantees that the user gets the same amount of each ingredient in every application. Additionally, as a solvent, 1,2-Hexanediol can help to improve the texture and feel of cosmetic products, making them more pleasant to apply and use.

Potential Side Effects/Adverse Reactions

The side effects and reactions to the topical application of 1,2-Hexanediol can vary significantly from person to person. It’s important to remember that everyone’s skin is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.

While 1,2-Hexanediol is generally considered safe for topical use, some potential side effects may include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Burning sensation
  • Skin irritation

If you experience any of these side effects while using a product containing 1,2-Hexanediol, it’s recommended that you discontinue use immediately and consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist. They can provide guidance on whether you should continue using the product or suggest an alternative.

Adverse reactions to 1,2-Hexanediol are relatively rare, but they can occur. It’s always important to monitor your skin’s reaction when introducing a new product into your skincare routine.

One of the best ways to minimize the risk of adverse reactions is to perform a patch test before using a new product. Our patch testing guide provides detailed instructions on how to do this. Patch testing can help you determine how your skin will react to a new product without risking a severe reaction.

Comedogenic Rating

Comedogenicity refers to the potential of a substance to cause comedones, which are skin blemishes often associated with acne. These blemishes occur when pores become clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells. Cosmetic ingredients with a high comedogenic rating are more likely to cause these types of skin issues.

1,2-Hexanediol has a comedogenic rating of 0. This means it is non-comedogenic and is not likely to clog pores or cause acne. This rating is based on the molecular structure and properties of 1,2-Hexanediol, which allow it to be easily absorbed and processed by the skin without causing blockages.

Given its non-comedogenic nature, 1,2-Hexanediol is suitable for individuals who are prone to acne or breakouts. It can be used in skincare products without the risk of exacerbating these conditions.

Conclusion

1,2-Hexanediol is a versatile cosmetic ingredient with two primary functions: skin conditioning and acting as a solvent. As a skin conditioner, it helps to make the skin feel smoother and softer. As a solvent, it helps to dissolve other ingredients in a formulation, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the product.

While not as well-known as some other cosmetic ingredients, 1,2-Hexanediol is similar to other conditioning agents and solvents used in skincare products. Its low comedogenic rating and versatility make it a valuable addition to many formulations.

In terms of safety, 1,2-Hexanediol is generally considered safe for use in cosmetics. Its low comedogenic rating means it is unlikely to cause skin irritation or acne, making it suitable for a wide range of skin types.

Share:
Feedback:
Tell us how you found this article in just a couple of clicks!
GET ALL OUR TOP HEADLINES IN BEAUTY.
Delivered right to your inbox each week. Zero spam, all goodness, opt-out at anytime.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
How did you find this article?
Tell us how you found this article in just a couple of clicks!
Get all our top headlines in beauty.
Delivered right to your inbox each week. Zero spam, all goodness, opt-out at anytime.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Send good feedback:

All feedback is anonymous and will be used to improve the quality of our articles.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Send bad feedback:

All feedback is anonymous and will be used to improve the quality of our articles.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Search