Have you ever thought what is the chemical ingredient which gives your hair care products clear, white and pearlized look? Why does your shampoo or conditioner look pearlized and opaque? What makes it more appealing? The answer is Ethylene Glycol Monostearate which is readily used in many skincare, haircare and personal care products. In this article, we are going to elucidate on Ethylene Glycol Monostearate and its benefits in hair care products. Let’s get started.
What Is Ethylene Glycol Monostearate?
Ethylene glycol monostearate is an organic compound which is derived from vegetables. It is pale yellow in colour, waxy and flaky in appearance. It is also known as glycol monostearate or glycol stearate. Ethylene glycol monostearate is the ester of ethylene glycol and stearic acid. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in alcohol, ether and chloroform, has got low iodine value, low acid and has a high melting point. Due to these properties, Ethylene glycol monostearate is relatively stable, hence used extensively in many skin care, hair care and personal care properties.
Other Names Of Ethylene Glycol Monostearate
Ethylene Glycol Monostearate is also known as
- Glycol Stearate
- Glycol Monostearate
- Octadecanoic Acid
- 2-Hydroxyethyl Ester
- 2-Hydroxy Stearate
- Stearic Acid
- 2-Hydroxyethyl Ester
So the next time, if you happen to see any of the above-mentioned names, you can be assured that your product contains Ethylene Glycol Monostearate.
Role Of Ethylene Glycol Monostearate In Cosmetic Products
Ethylene glycol monostearate is used extensively in cosmetic products because of its beneficial properties. Ethylene glycol monostearate is used in cosmetic products not because it is beneficial for your skin or hair but because it enhances the texture and appearance of the formulation in personal care, skin care and hair care products.
The main objective of using Ethylene glycol monostearate in cosmetic products is to impart a pearlized look to the product formula, hence you can find its name popping up in many facial cleansers, hand washes, shower gels, shampoos and toothpastes. It can also change a transparent product to white coloured product, but it entirely depends on the amount of Ethylene glycol monostearate used. It adds thickness to the product formula and improves the texture of the product as well. It is generally used in surfactant-based systems which help to stabilize the formula. Ethylene glycol monostearate is used as an opacifier and as an emulsifying agent in many skincare and hair care products. Due to its emollient property, Ethylene glycol monostearate is used in many skincare products such as creams, lotions and moisturizers which help to make your skin soft and smooth.
Benefits Of Ethylene Glycol Monostearate In Hair Care
This pale yellow flaky substance is loaded with beneficial properties which give stability to the product formula, enhance the appearance and texture of the products. It is derived from vegetables, hence biodegradable in nature. It is the ester of ethylene glycol and stearic acid. Ethylene glycol monostearate is known to be insoluble in water but soluble in alcohols, glycols, cosmetic esters, hot mineral oils. Let us have a closer look at some of the benefits of Ethylene glycol monostearate
- It is mainly used as a pearlizing agent in cosmetic products and toiletries, as ethylene glycol monostearate dissolves in the surfactant composite after heating and during its cooling process crystals appear, leading to pearlescent lustre.
- It helps to increase the viscosity of the product, thereby adding thickness to the product.
- It is used as an opacifier in many cosmetic products, as it makes the product formulation opaque or translucent.
- Due to its emulsifying property, it is used in emulsifying oil in water-based formulas, thereby providing stability to the product formula. It holds the 2 separable liquids i.e oil and water together in the formula which is generally difficult to combine.
- Its emollient property helps to keep your scalp and hair well-nourished,moisturized thereby, preventing dry hair conditions.
- Its non-comedogenic nature makes it an ideal choice in many shampoos, hair creams as it won’t clog the pores of your scalp. This prevents the scalp buildup which can give rise to various hair and scalp conditions such as dandruff, hair fall and hair thinning.
- It acts as a surfactant in many hair care products, as it helps to reduce the surface tension between 2 liquids i.e oil and water. The surfactant has bipolar ends, hydrophilic end which combines with the water molecules and the lipophilic end with binds with oil and dirt found on the surface of your strands, thus helps in easily getting rid of dirt and oil from your scalp, hair while washing.
- It adds volume to your strands, making them look fuller and bouncy.
- It is known to be compatible with other surfactants as well as other active ingredients in the formula, thus providing stability to the product.
These beneficial properties of Ethylene glycol monostearate make it an ideal choice in many hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair serums, hair sprays and mousses. It helps to add thickness to the hair care products and also helps in improving the texture and appearance of the products, which makes your hair care products look more appealing.
Uses Of Ethylene Glycol Monostearate
Ethylene Glycol Monostearate is mainly used in personal care and cosmetic products such as hand washes, shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, facial gels, hair serums etc because of its pearlizing effect. It is also used as an opacifier and as an emulsifying agent in many bath products, creams, lotions, moisturizers, shaving creams and many household products.
Ethylene glycol monostearate is an excellent solvent due to which it is used as an anti-freezing and anti-icing additive. It has many uses and applications in the textile industry, pharmaceutical industry and food packaging.
Side Effects Of Ethylene Glycol Monostearate
Ethylene glycol monostearate is considered to be safe for topical application. It is extensively used in cosmetics and personal care products because it is quite user-friendly. Ethylene glycol monostearate is non-toxic, does not cause any allergic reaction on skin or eyes. Its repeated use also does not cause any sensitization or hypersensitivity. Hence Ethylene glycol monostearate has a wide range of applications not only in the cosmetic industry but also in textile, pharmaceutical and food industries.
Only people with hypersensitive skin or any other skin allergies may not be able to tolerate Ethylene glycol monostearate in their cosmetic products. They may develop allergic reactions such as redness, itching or mild swelling. If the allergic reaction persists, then discontinue its use and immediately consult a doctor.
Role Of Hydroxyethyl cellulose In Hair Care Products
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