Isopropyl Myristate

This ingredient is in most of the products that you use without even knowing it. How often do we really check the ingredients on the back of the packaging? We mostly just look at what it touts as benefits and what it can do for you. Unless you’re extremely vigilant about these things, the ingredient list is secondary. This is a bit risky as there are so many products on the market that contain harmful chemicals, but luckily this is one of the relatively safe ones and is why it is so prominently used. You can find this component in lotions, conditioners, moisturizers, sunscreen and even deodorant.

benefits of Isopropyl Myristate
Isopropyl Myristate is commonly used in deodorants

Use of Isopropyl Myristate

The biggest reason why this is used in so many products is because of its moisturizing properties. Isopropyl is an emollient that strengthens the barriers on the outermost layers of the skin which helps retain moisture and keeps your skin hydrated. Dehydrated skin leads to dryness and cracks on the outer layers, and weakening of the supporting muscles underneath which can result in fine lines and wrinkles.

Another property of this ingredient is its use in thickening the formulation it is mixed in. While thickening your lotion, cream, moisturizer or deodorant doesn’t do anything aesthetically for your skin, it helps in making a smoother application to the skin. Would you rather have a lotion that is oily, almost like a liquid, or something a little thicker that you rub into your skin? The inclusion of this ingredient keeps it from being oily and greasy and allows more practical use.

Furthermore, isopropyl myristate has properties penetrate the skin’s layers, helping the product get deeper into the pores to treat skin problems at the source rather than superficially at the surface. The deeper you get into the skin when applying a skin care product, the more effective it is.

Side Effects

Some users have experienced skin irritation when using products that contain this ingredient. Keep in mind that no two people’s skin are the same, and we can all react differently to different products. The skin penetrating qualities can be too harsh on those who have particularly sensitive skin, as well as in areas that are more sensitive than others. That is why this product is more used in body creams and moisturizers and creams, and is seen less in eye serums as the skin around the eyes is thinner than elsewhere on the body. In addition to the effects of this ingredient itself, the penetration into the inner layers of the skin can be troublesome when there are other carcinogenic or harmful ingredients in the formulation.

Furthermore, there are studies that suggest that this skin care ingredient may lead to clogging of the pores. In another page on this site I talk about the effects of clogged pores and why it leads to pimples and other skin irritations. Sebum can be inhibited from being excreted through the skin’s pores and lead to a buildup of radicals, causing unwanted blemishes on the surface.

Should Your Eye Serum Contain Isopropyl Myristate?

While this is widely used in many skin care products, it is my recommendation that you not seek it out in an eye serum for the reasons stated above. While it can be great in deodorants, neck or body creams and moisturizers, it is best to keep it away from the sensitive skin in the eye area.