VP/Eicosene Copolymer


Film-Forming Agent

No known benefits

VP/Eicosene Copolymer at a glance

  • Film-forming agent often used in water-resistant sunscreens to improve adherence to skin
  • Also works as a viscosity-increasing agent to enhance texture
  • Sometimes included in lipstick formulations to add luster/shine
  • Deemed safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel

VP/Eicosene Copolymer description

Synthetic ingredient VP/eicosene copolymer plays multiple roles in cosmetic formulas, including acting as a film-forming agent and viscosity-increasing agent that enhances texture. It is often used in water-resistant sunscreen products, as it is believed to help sunscreens adhere better to skin and resist prematurely breaking down in water. It does not, however, last for hours, which is why you must reapply water-resistant sunscreens at regular intervals. One study also compared VP/eicosene copolymer’s ability to disperse pigments and add luster (shine) to lipstick formulations, with the results showing it outperformed other types of polymers. In 2018, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel reevaluated VP/eicosene copolymer and reconfirmed its status as “safe in cosmetics in the present practices of use and concentration.” Their report surveyed products containing up to an 8% concentration.

VP/Eicosene Copolymer references

  • Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology, May 2019, pages 1075-1082
  • Contact Dermatitis, January 2019, page 63
  • The Cosmetic Ingredient Review, January 2019, pages 1-46
  • Journal of Cosmetic Science, June 2011, pages 317-325

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