C15-19 Alkane



C15-19 Alkane at a glance

  • Lightweight emollient from the hydrocarbon family
  • Most often used in place of silicones or mineral oil
  • Lends a lightweight, velvety-soft finish to cosmetics
  • Helps to disperse UV filters

C15-19 Alkane description

C15-19 alkane is a synthetic solvent belonging to the hydrocarbon group of chemicals. Alkanes comprise a large group of hydrocarbons, which are molecules composed of carbon and hydrogen. These highly stable cosmetic ingredients have emollient and aesthetic properties similar to various silicones and mineral oil. As such, they’re often used as alternatives for brands opting to avoid such ingredients. Along with lending emollient properties and a lightweight, velvety-soft finish, C15-19 alkane is also used to help disperse the mineral UV filters titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. This ingredient is sometimes used in blends, including those that contain silicones as well as various film-forming ingredients and emulsifiers, where it contributes not just to product texture but also aids stability. In hair care, it is added to formulas with the goal being smoothness and shine. As of this writing, we could not find information on maximum permitted usage levels for this ingredient; however, typical amounts used in cosmetics are from 0.5–25%, depending on aesthetic and other formulary goals.

C15-19 Alkane references

  • Molecules, November 2020, pages 1–18
  • Oilseeds & Fats, Crops and Lipids, September-October 2018, pages 1–12

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.