No known benefits

Tridecane at a glance

  • Emollient that is known for offering a lightweight, smooth glide to skin care formulations 
  • Touted for prolonging wear of makeup formulations 
  • Found in okra and other natural sources 
  • Often used as an alternative to silicones (for those who prefer such)

Tridecane description

Tridecane is an emollient that belongs to the class of chemical compounds known as alkanes. It is typically used in tandem with other alkane emollients (such as undecane, pentadecane, or dodecane) to form a lightweight, smooth glide base for skin care formulations.  Suppliers also tout its use in makeup, where it is said to help prolong wear. Additionally, it can be used as a solvent. Tridecane is often marketed as an alternative to silicone ingredients* because it delivers similar properties, including the ability to absorb quickly and leave a non-greasy finish.   *Note: Silicones aren’t inherently bad—rather formulating with or without them is a matter of preference (see related ingredients for more info).    As a raw material, tridecane is described as a transparent oily liquid. It can be derived from plants such as okra, as well as other natural sources. Typical usage level in cosmetics ranges from 2–10%.  

Tridecane references

  • PubChem, January 2022, ePublication
  • Clariant, Accessed January 2022, ePublication
  •, September 2018, ePublication 
  • Household and Personal Care Today, May/June 2014, pages 18-20

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