Polyquaternium-59: What Is It, Cosmetic Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: February 28, 2024
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Understanding the world of cosmetics can often feel like trying to decipher a complex scientific code, especially when you start reading the long, scientific names listed on the back of your favorite products.

One such ingredient that you might come across in your cosmetics is Polyquaternium-59.

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the world of Polyquaternium-59, exploring what it is, why it’s used in cosmetic products, and what you need to know about its benefits and potential side effects.

What is Polyquaternium-59?

Polyquaternium-59, also known by its lengthy chemical name Poly(20,25-Dioxo-2,5,10,15,18-Pentamethyl-10-(2-Hydroxy-3-(3-(3-Phenyl-2-Propenamido)Propyldimethylammonio)Propyl)-10-Azonia-1,4,7,13,16,19-Hexaoxapentacosanediyl) Chloride, is a common ingredient found in many cosmetic products.

This ingredient is synthetically produced and serves a specific purpose in cosmetic formulations. It acts as a UV absorber, meaning it helps to protect the skin and hair from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. It works by absorbing UV light and converting it into a less damaging form of energy, such as heat.

As for its availability, Polyquaternium-59 is typically not sold as a standalone product. Instead, it’s usually found as part of a wider formulation of ingredients within a product’s formulation, contributing to the product’s overall UV protection capabilities.

Who Can Use Polyquaternium-59?

Polyquaternium-59 is generally suitable for all skin types. It’s a non-irritating ingredient that can be beneficial for both dry and oily skin, as it helps to protect the skin from UV damage without causing dryness or oiliness.

As for dietary preferences, Polyquaternium-59 is suitable for both vegans and vegetarians. This is because it’s synthetically produced and doesn’t involve the use of any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Regarding its use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, there’s currently no evidence to suggest that Polyquaternium-59 is unsafe for these groups. However, as with any cosmetic ingredient, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider before using products containing Polyquaternium-59 during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Polyquaternium-59’s Cosmetic Benefits/Uses

The benefits and uses listed in this section pertain exclusively to the cosmetic applications of Polyquaternium-59. It’s important to note that this ingredient may have other uses in various industries, but those are beyond the scope of this article. The benefits listed here are based solely on its official function as a UV absorber.

  • UV Protection: Polyquaternium-59 acts as a UV absorber in cosmetic products. This means it has the ability to absorb the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, thereby protecting the skin and hair from damage. UV rays can cause premature aging, skin cancer, and other skin conditions. They can also cause hair to become dry and brittle. By absorbing these rays, Polyquaternium-59 helps to prevent these issues.
  • Prevents Color Fading: For colored hair, UV rays can cause the color to fade quickly. Polyquaternium-59, as a UV absorber, can help to maintain the color of the hair for a longer period. It does this by absorbing the UV rays that would otherwise cause the color to fade, thereby extending the life of the hair color.
  • Improves Product Stability: In addition to protecting the skin and hair, Polyquaternium-59 also helps to improve the stability of cosmetic products. UV rays can cause some ingredients in cosmetic products to break down, which can affect the effectiveness and shelf-life of the product. By absorbing these rays, Polyquaternium-59 helps to maintain the integrity of the product, ensuring it remains effective for longer.

Potential Side Effects/Adverse Reactions

Side effects and reactions to the topical application of Polyquaternium-59 can vary significantly from person to person. It’s important to understand that everyone’s skin is unique, and what works well for one person may not work as well for another.

While Polyquaternium-59 is generally considered safe for topical use, some potential side effects may include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning sensation
  • Skin irritation

If you experience any of these side effects while using a product containing Polyquaternium-59, it’s recommended to discontinue use immediately and consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist. They can provide guidance on how to best manage these symptoms and suggest alternative products if necessary.

Adverse reactions to Polyquaternium-59 are relatively rare, but they can occur. It’s important to remember that even ingredients deemed safe can cause reactions in some individuals, particularly those with sensitive skin or allergies.

One of the best ways to minimize the risk of adverse reactions is to perform a patch test before using a new product. This involves applying a small amount of the product to a discreet area of skin and waiting 24-48 hours to see if any reaction occurs. This can help you identify potential sensitivities or allergies before applying the product to a larger area of skin.

Comedogenic Rating

Comedogenicity refers to the potential of a substance to cause comedones, which are skin blemishes often associated with acne. These are caused by the blockage of hair follicles by oils, dead skin cells, and other substances. In the context of cosmetic ingredients, a comedogenic rating is used to indicate how likely an ingredient is to cause these blockages and potentially lead to acne.

Polyquaternium-59 has a comedogenic rating of 0. This means it is non-comedogenic and is not likely to block hair follicles or contribute to the formation of comedones. This rating is based on the molecular structure and properties of Polyquaternium-59, which do not promote the blockage of pores.

Given its non-comedogenic nature, Polyquaternium-59 is suitable for individuals who are prone to acne or breakouts. It is unlikely to exacerbate these conditions and may be a beneficial ingredient in skincare and cosmetic products for these individuals.

Conclusion

Polyquaternium-59 is primarily used as a UV absorber in cosmetic products. This means it helps to protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, which can lead to skin damage and premature aging.

Despite its beneficial properties, Polyquaternium-59 is not widely known or used in the cosmetic industry. It is similar to other UV-absorbing ingredients, but it stands out due to its non-comedogenic nature.

In terms of safety, Polyquaternium-59 is generally considered safe for use in cosmetics. Its non-comedogenic rating means it is unlikely to cause skin blockages or contribute to acne, making it a suitable ingredient for a wide range of skin types, including those prone to breakouts.

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