Hexylene Glycol



No known benefits

Hexylene Glycol at a glance

  • Solvent that produces smooth spreadability and pleasing skin care textures
  • Viscosity-reducing properties allow it to thin out heavy, thick formulations
  • Shows up in a wide variety of skin care, hair care, and makeup products
  • As a raw material, it is clear liquid
  • Backed by decades of research as a safe ingredient

Hexylene Glycol description

Hexylene glycol is famous for its excellent solvency among a wide variety of materials and is popular in skin care formulas due to its ability to improve the texture. It has viscosity-reducing properties that allow it to thin out heavy, thick formulations and produce smooth spreadability. Studies indicate it also exhibits antimicrobial properties. In addition to skin care, hexylene glycol is used in other beauty products including hair care and makeup. It also goes by its chemical compound name: 2-Methyl-2,4-pentanediol. As a raw material, it is a clear liquid. Hexylene glycol is often used in preservative blends that contain phenoxyethanol because it boosts the efficacy of this preservative, allowing lower amounts to be used, which reduces the risk skin will have a sensitised response. Hexylene glycol has been backed as a safe ingredient for decades with reported concentrations up to 25% in personal care products (though most skin care formulas use much lower amounts than that, especially in preservative blends).

Hexylene Glycol references

  • Cosmetic Ingredient Review, June 2018, pages 1-73
  • Acta Dermato-Venereologica, January 1991, pages 148-150
  • Journal of the American College of Toxicology, 1985, pages 1-26

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.