If you are using skin care, health or beauty products (and who isn’t to some extent?), it is important to know what is in the product formulation. If you take a look at the back label of any of the products in your medicine cabinet, you will likely see isododecane listed on there. This is a common substance used in many cosmetics such as eye liner, mascara and lip gloss because it keeps them soft and easier to spread on the skin.
With a low rate of side effects because it is not able to penetrate the skin’s layers, rather it stays on the surface, and it avoids causing irritation as it is not able to get inside the skin’s inner layers and enter internally into the body. For this reason, while it may be useful in cosmetic products, I do not recommend seeking it out for anti aging eye serums as those need to be absorbed inside the skin to really be effective in repairing the skin from the inside out.
In this review I will cover what isododecane does and why it is common in many of the products you use.
Usage of Isododecane
This chemical is an emollient, like many of the other ingredients I write about on this site, which means rather than itself having properties that are effective in skin care, it has properties that assist the other ingredients in the formulation. In this case, the emollient quality means it changes the consistency of the product (lip gloss, eye shadow, eye liner or sunscreen) to allow them to glide easier across the skin and spread more evenly rather than clumping.
While it is not the most sought after ingredient for anti aging eye serums, it does see some use in these products as it is important for a serum to be applied in even coverage across the entire surface of the skin.
Isododecane is also used in cosmetic products because it is non-comedonal which means it does not clog your skin’s pores, a key component in the development of acne. It is most often used in cosmetic products that are called “weightless”, meaning that they are to feel as if you aren’t even wearing it because it spreads so evenly and thin on the skin’s surface.
Isododecane is also strong in slowing down the evaporation of water from the skin, locking in moisture and keeping the skin hydrated. This helps the product last longer on the skin.
This chemical is generally deemed to be a safe ingredient in topical products but it should not be put into any broken, damaged skin as it can cause irritation if it goes internal into the body. Before starting any new product with ingredients you have not been exposed to, it is best to consult a dermatologist and test it on a small area of skin at first to see if you have an adverse or allergic reactions. Possible symptoms could be rash, redness, swelling or hives. Discontinue use if you experience any of these issues.