Hydrogenated Lecithin



Hydrogenated Lecithin at a glance

  • Dispersing agent, skin-conditioning emollient, and emulsifier
  • Can enhance the penetration of other skin care ingredients in a formulation for greater efficacy
  • May be manufactured synthetically or derived from plant or animal sources
  • Raw material descriptions range from a white to beige-gray powder appearance
  • Reported as safe in 15% concentration or les

Hydrogenated Lecithin description

Hydrogenated lecithin is a phospholipid that is produced by controlled hydrogenation of the skin-restoring ingredient lecithin. It can be manufactured synthetically or may be derived from animals (egg yolk is a source) or plants. Reported functions of hydrogenated lecithin in skin care and other personal care formulations include dispersing agent, skin-conditioning emollient, and emulsifier. As with other phospholipids, research shows it can enhance the penetration of other skin care ingredients in a formulation for greater efficacy. As a raw material, the appearance of hydrogenated lecithin can vary depending on the source. Descriptions range from a white to beige-gray powder appearance. According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel’s 2020 safety assessment, the maximum reported concentration of use was 5% (for face and neck products). Any amount 15% or below was deemed safe for rinse-off and leave-on products. The CIR Expert Panel concluded that the safety data is insufficient for products containing hydrogenated lecithin that may be inhaled (such as sprays). As such, it is uncommon to find this ingredient in those types of products.

Hydrogenated Lecithin references

  • International Journal of Toxicology, September 2020, pages 5S-25S
  • Nanocosmetics, June 2019, pages 95–140
  • Current Drug Delivery, 2016, pages 111–120
  • Pharmaceutical Research, February 2013, pages 538–55

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.