Ethyl Macadamiate


Plant extracts

Ethyl Macadamiate at a glance

  • Plant-derived or synthetically made ingredient that is sometimes used as a substitute for silicones
  • Imparts emollient, skin-softening properties without a greasy feel
  • Adds a pleasant slip to creams and lotions, making them easier to spread
  • Source of essential fatty acids for skin

Ethyl Macadamiate description

Ethyl macadamiate is the ester of ethyl alcohol mixed with fatty acids from macadamia nut oil to create an emollient. On skin, ethyl macadamiate softens and conditions plus helps prevent moisture loss. This plant-derived or synthetically made ingredient is sometimes used as a substitute for silicones because it imparts emollient, skin-softening properties without the greasy feel higher amounts of some silicones can have. Ethyl macadamiate also adds a pleasant slip to creams and lotions, making them easier to spread, not to mention macadamia nut oil is a rich source of essential fatty acids for skin. You can find ethyl macadamiate in all kinds of cosmetic formulations including cleansing oils, moisturisers, sunscreens, and hair care products. Amounts used in cosmetics may be as low as 0.1% in a cleanser to upwards of 30% in a non-aqueous serum or moisturiser. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel has deemed macadamia nut oil safe as used in cosmetics; the ethyl alcohol portion isn’t considered a risk since it does not retain its original properties when esterified with oil to form ethyl macadamiate.

Ethyl Macadamiate references

  • Floratech, Accessed September 2021, ePublication
  • Data in Brief, December 2017, pages 720-723

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.