Hydrogenated Polyisobutene

This can be a confusing ingredient when you read it on skin care products, since all the rage these days is for natural skin care products like honey and tea and oatmeal and others like that. The sound of a name like this may causes many consumers to cringe upon reading it, not knowing exactly what is going on their skin, but it happens to have a number of properties that make it a strong active ingredient in many of the products you may have in your skin care routine.

Hydrogenated Polyisobutene use in skin care productsWhat is Hydrogenated Polyisobutene?

This active ingredient is widely used however it has many of the same properties that you find in other ingredients that are commonly used, so it may not be necessary to rush out to find a product that contains this chemical. It is widely used because it has a cheaper cost than other compounds with similar properties. It also has qualities that improve skin care texture leaving a smoother skin surface.

How is it Used?

You can commonly find this ingredient in products such as moisturizers, lip balm, exfoliants and a number of other skin care treatments. There are many qualities that make this an ideal part of the formulation.

One of the key abilities of it is that it hydrates the skin and locks in moisture, which is why you see it often in skin moisturizers (and similarly in lip balms for moisturizing the lips). It does this by creating a barrier on the skin’s surface that locks in hydration, keeping the skin fresh and reducing dryness. As opposed to hyaluronic acid, which creates moisture in the affected area, hydrogenated polyisobutene locks in this moisture and together they make a great tandem of ingredients in any cream or balm.

You may also see it in many sunscreens that advertise their water-resistant properties, as the use of this ingredient helps block water from wiping away the product and increasing its effectiveness.

Lastly, it is often added to change the texture of the product itself. More specifically, it increases the thickness of the cream which gives it a richer feel and eases application of the product to the skin as opposed to an oily product. It can be especially helpful in nighttime moisturizers that need to be mixed thoroughly and are applied with the intention of staying on the skin for hours after application.

While it may not be commonly known, or easy to pronounce, this is an important part of many of the products that you use without you even knowing it (or knowing what it is). Open up your medicine cabinet and take a look at your face cream, skin moisturizer, lip balm or sunscreen and you will probably see it on the list of ingredients.

Take a look at the other products I review on this site and you will find it in the list of components for many of them. While natural ingredients are great, sometimes the synthetic sounding ones are just what’s needed to give a product an extra edge.