What Is Isododecane?

Isododecane is a common ingredient found in cosmetics, skincare, and body care. Isododecane is primarily used to help keep the products soft and easy to apply. 

Isododecane is a colorless liquid used as an emollient in products such as mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss, and hair spray. Isododecane is used in many different cosmetic items because of its low instance of side effects and because the skin cannot absorb it and cannot, therefore, elicit significant irritation.

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the good: Non-irritating emollient that helps the products to glide onto the skin with ease, making them easy to apply.

the not so good:Some sensitive skin types may be allergic to Isododecane. Be mindful of allergic symptoms such as redness, rash, and itchiness.

Who is it for?All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.

Synergetic ingredients:Works well with most ingredients

Keep an eye on: Another name for Isododecane is 1,1-dineopentylene.

Why Is Isododecane In My Skincare?

Isododecane is an emollient, which means that it can provide the skin with protection from moisture loss. This means that the makeup will last longer on the skin, and the epidermis will be better moisturized. This is beneficial in formulations such as moisturizers, foundations, concealers, and conditioners. Emollients help to smooth the appearance of dry and flaky skin, protecting the skin’s natural barrier. The skin’s natural barrier is the first few layers of skin, which are prone to moisture loss and, when damaged, have been linked to conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. 

Isododecane improves the texture of the formulation to help it glide over the skin without pulling or catching. This is particularly beneficial for eyeliner or lipstick formulations. 

Isododecane is often used to provide the skin with a lightweight formulation that doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy or heavy. This also makes isododecane a useful ingredient for hair products as it doesn’t weigh down the hair. This ingredient is extremely light to the touch, making it a perfect addition to “weightless” cosmetic products that are supposed to feel as if they aren’t there at all.

Isododecane has another added benefit to formulations it is included in; it provides a matte finish to the product. This is particularly desirable in some lipstick formulations, foundations, and concealers. 

Another reason why isododecane is used in cosmetic products is that it is non-comedogenic. This means that it doesn’t clog pores or contribute to the development of blemishes. 

Which Products Contain Isododecane?

Isododecane is used in a diverse range of products, including moisturizers, cosmetics, hair care, and serums. Isododecane can be found in products such as; foundation and concealer, lipstick, mascara, serums, hairspray, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, and eyeliner. If you are looking to avoid the ingredient, make sure to check all your products, as it is found in many types of products. 

Is Isododecane Safe?


The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, a group involved in assessing the safety of skincare and cosmetic ingredients, reviewed the available data in 2012 and determined that isododecane is safe for use when used in low concentrations in its approved applications. To date, there have been no recorded side effects associated with isododecane. However, some experts assert that very few tests have actually been performed with it and that there is always a possibility of an allergic reaction. If you have sensitive or reactive skin, it might be best to check with your dermatologist before using this ingredient.

Johnson, W et al., 2012. ‘Safety Assessment of Isoparaffins as Used in Cosmetics’, International Journal of Toxicology, vol. 31, pp. 269S-295S. Reifenrath, W, Olson, J, Vendula, U & Osimitz, T, 2009. ‘Percutaneous Absorption of an Insect Repellent p-Menthane-3,8-diol: A Model for Human Dermal Absorption’, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, vol. 72, is. 13.



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