Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil



Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil at a glance

  • Extracted from the seeds of the cotton plant
  • Fatty acid profile offers emolliency to smooth and hydrate skin
  • Considered safe as used in cosmetics if the oil is refined
  • Contains natural toxins that must be removed prior to use in cosmetics

Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil description

_Gossypium herbaceum_ (cotton) seed oil is extracted from the seeds of various types of cotton plants. Supplied as a golden yellow liquid, this non-fragrant plant oil is a good source of fatty acids capable of smoothing and hydrating skin. These include linoleic, palmitic, and oleic acids, with lesser amounts of linolenic, stearic, and myristic acids. This plant oil’s primary use in cosmetics is for its emollient properties, but it may also be chosen to contribute occlusion to a formulation. Although cotton seed oil is a good natural source of vitamin E, much of this is lost during processing, so its antioxidant benefit when used on skin is limited. Despite this limitation, it’s among the more stable oils when exposed to air. The safety of _Gossypium herbaceum_ (cotton) seed oil has been evaluated and amounts up to 21% are considered non-sensitizing and non-irritating to skin. Suppliers must ensure their source of this plant oil is free from toxins such as gossypol, aflatoxin, and cyclopropenoid fatty acids (CPFA) or that steps are taken during processing to ensure these compounds are removed before adding the oil to cosmetics

Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil references

  • Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, August 2021, pages 1,219–1,237
  • Food Science and Nutrition, March 2019, pages 1,027–1,034
  • International Journal of Toxicology, March 2001, pages 21–29

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.