No known benefits

Perfluorohexane at a glance

  • Synthetic ingredient, classified as a perfluorocarbon
  • Solvent and texture-enhancing ingredient that may increase oxygen to skin
  • May boost reactive oxygen species (ROS) in skin, which can age skin faster
  • Often used in “bubble masks”

Perfluorohexane description

Perfluorohexane is an inert (chemically inactive) ingredient used in skin care and other cosmetic formulations, most commonly as a solvent and to enhance the product’s consistency and texture. It is classified as a synthetic perfluorocarbon and is unique in that it absorbs oxygen from the air at a high concentration. This is one of the reasons perfluorohexane shows up in products claiming to increase oxygen to skin, as well as in “bubble masks” that were once popular. While increasing oxygen to skin may sound like it would be a good thing, it may simultaneously increase the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in skin—the very thing antioxidants fight against. In that sense, perfluorohexane has the potential to do more harm than good in a skin care formulation. Perfluorohexane is almost always combined with similar ingredients and used in leave-on products in amounts up to 10%. On the flip side, outside the realm of cosmetics, there is some research showing that under certain conditions skin may benefit from increased oxygen—this pertains to use in a medical situation. Perfluorohexane has been associated with a group of ingredients commonly known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). There is some amount of conflicting information regarding whether perfluorohexane is truly a PFAS—some research literature indicates that it is, while others conclude that it isn’t. In the United States, PFAS are currently being monitored by the FDA for their impacts on health and safety. While the presently available research seems to indicate PFAS are unlikely to pose a health risk, the FDA has not drawn a definitive conclusion because the data is limited. Per the FDA, additional research is needed to determine: -toxicological profiles for PFAS in cosmetics -the extent to which various PFAS in cosmetics can be absorbed through the skin -the potential for human health risks from this type of exposure While the jury is still out on perfluorohexane, overall it’s not an ingredient that brings significant benefit, and likely hurts skin more than it helps.

Perfluorohexane references

  •, Accessed September 2022, ePublication
  • U.S. Food & Drug Administration, February 2022, ePublication
  • Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, October 2018, pages 1-116
  • Science Daily, July 2005, ePublication

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.