Heptyl Undecylenate



Heptyl Undecylenate at a glance

  • An alkyl ester derived from castor oil
  • Helps trap moisture, hydrating skin
  • Leaves a light, powdery after-feel
  • Appears in skin care in amounts between 0.01% and 26%

Heptyl Undecylenate description

Heptyl undecylenate is a castor oil-derived natural skin care ingredient that can help hydrate skin, prevent moisture loss and improve the feel of formulas by reducing the likelihood of a greasy after-feel. As a lightweight emollient, heptyl undecylenate lends skin a protective “shield,” trapping moisture to further prevent trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) and hydrate. Through this, heptyl undecylenate gives skin a smooth, moisturized look. It’s often used as an alternative to mineral oil. Unlike other emollients, this derivative (known as an ester) leaves a powdery, light feel on skin, not a greasy, oil one. It’s used in formulas to help mitigate the greasy feel that other hydrating emollient ingredients leave on skin. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel concluded that heptyl undecylenate is safe for use in cosmetics, appearing in formulas at amounts ranging from 0.01% to 26%.

Heptyl Undecylenate references

  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, June 2020, pages 11-19
  • International Journal of Toxicology, September 2015, pages 5S-69S

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