Isoamyl Laurate



Isoamyl Laurate at a glance

  • Skin-softening emollient that imparts a lightweight, velvety feel
  • Enhances the spreadability of a formula
  • Found in skin care, hair care and makeup products (where it keeps pigments evenly dispersed)
  • Can be plant derived or synthetic
  • Deemed safe in cosmetic use up to 2%

Isoamyl Laurate description

Isoamyl laurate is the ester of isoamyl alcohol and lauric acid. This plant- or synthetic-based texture-enhancing ingredient feels velvety-soft and is used to help keep pigments dispersed in makeup products such as foundations. It also enhances the spreadability of skin care products and can be found in hair conditioners. Isoamyl laurate is sometimes touted as a natural alternative to silicones, thanks to its lightweight, smoothing sensation. (But for the record, silicones are perfectly fine skin care ingredients, so you don’t need to avoid them.) As a raw material, isoamyl laurate is described as having an oily liquid appearance. According to the 2015 Cosmetic Ingredient Review assessment of isoamyl laurate, this ingredient was deemed safe in current cosmetic practices of use up (when formulated to be nonirritating). Paula’s Choice Skincare uses the plant-derived, 100% natural form of this ingredient.

Isoamyl Laurate references

  • International Journal of Toxicology, September 2015, pages 5S-69S
  • Cossma, April 2015, pages 12-15

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