Octyldodecyl neopentanoate is a synthetic liquid emollient that is used in a variety of skin care products. Upon application to the skin, it provides a light, silky feeling. As an emollient, octyldodecyl neopentanoate imparts moisturization, which leads to softer, smoother skin. Octyldodecyl neopentanoate is frequently used in sunscreens because of its ability to increase the sun protection factor (SPF) in high SPF products. It is considered to be safe, non-sensitizing, and non-comedogenic.
Octyldodecyl neopentanoate also functions as a pigment wetting agent. Wetting agents are surface active materials that work by reducing the interfacial tension between two immiscible phases in a cosmetic formulation. Unlike larger surfactant molecules, wetting agents do not have the capacity to form stable micelle dispersions, such as emulsions or solubilizations. However, wetting agents are useful in decorative cosmetics because they can improve the pigment distribution in the formulation, as well as prevent the agglomeration of pigments. By producing homogeneous, stable pigment dispersion, wetting agents like octyldodecyl neopentanoate improve the rheology, the sensory profile, the color, and the functionality of the final formulation.