No known benefits

Butyloctanol at a glance

  • Synthetic solvent with light emollient properties
  • Improves product application on skin and hair
  • Low viscosity contributes to its lightweight feel on skin and hair
  • Made from a fatty alcohol that softens skin

Butyloctanol description

Butyloctanol is a synthetic solvent made from the fatty alcohol 2-Butyl-1-Octanol. It has lightweight emollient properties which help improve application of cosmetics plus soften skin and hair (it’s sometimes used with silicone conditioning agents in hair care products). Butyloctanol is supplied as a clear liquid that has much lower viscosity than many cosmetic emollients, making it among the better options for all skin types. Usage levels of butyloctanol range from 0.05–1%, depending on desired aesthetics and performance. Interestingly, newer research has shown butyloctanol may have prebiotic properties that, applied to skin, may help control unpleasant odors. It is not known to be a skin irritant. This ingredient is also known as isolauryl alcohol.

Butyloctanol references

  • pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Accessed November 2022
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, December 2021, pages 627–635
  • Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, August 2018, pages 350–357

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.