Know Your Ingredients: Isohexadecane

by Gio


What it is
Isohexadecane is a colorless and odorless substance.

What it does
Isohexadecane has a rich and creamy texture that softens and smooths skin without leaving a greasy residue.
This ingredient is also a solvent that is very used in makeup removers to remove all traces of makeup.
In addition, it is used as a thickener in beauty products.

Side effects
Isohexadecane is generally considered to be safe.


Take The Guesswork Out Of Skincare Shopping

Screenshot from 2017 04 30 11 51 35

Get access to the “Pro Skincare Library” for exclusive skincare routine “cheat sheets” and tricks to help you navigate the beauty aisles jungle like a pro and immediately know what to pick off the shelves to achieve the gorgeous skin of your dreams - even when you’re drowning in an endless sea of skincare products.

Powered by ConvertKit



Nea/ Fashioned in Finland June 7, 2010 - 7:34 am

These are great posts! I read inci lists all the time but it takes a lot of time to learn to know all (/most of) those ingredients.

beautifulwithbrains June 7, 2010 - 6:38 pm

Nea, I’m glad you love this kind of posts. And I agree, those inci lists can be daunting. I used to have your same problem (still do sometimes 😉 ) and that’s actually one of the reasons why I started the blog: to have all the info in one place and help others learn more about ingredients too.

anonym May 25, 2013 - 9:58 pm

Hi! I have noticed that ingredient in a bb cream I want to buy and I have heard that this is a mineraloil? Is this true and can it cause breakouts?

beautifulwithbrains May 26, 2013 - 4:33 pm

Anonym, Isohexadecane is derived from oil, just like mineral oil. In fact, it is a component of it, but that doesn’t mean it is bad for you. Quite the opposite, it is considered to be safe when used in cosmetics. And no, it shouldn’t cause breakouts.

anonym May 27, 2013 - 6:05 pm

Thanks for answering 🙂 I am very skeptical to mineraloil so I am glad but to hear that isohexacedane is safe. I also wonder if myristyl myristate is comedogenic? Some say so, while other rejects it so I am a bit confused.

beautifulwithbrains May 28, 2013 - 8:45 pm

Anonym, mineral oil is safe too. It’s true it has gained a bad reputation because it is derived from oil, but the type used in cosmetics, which is cosmetic grade mineral oil, undergoes a refining process that removes all the bad impurities, making it safe for use.

Yes, myristyl myristate is comedogenic. Every time I use it, I break out really badly.

Terrie Smith February 22, 2017 - 3:43 am

Mineral Oil is not considered safe. Mineral oil used to be known as petroleum jelly. I would guess it remained known as petroleum jelly until someone finally asked why they want to put a glob of petro on their lips or their babies diaper area. Instead of making a safer product they just changed the name to mineral oil. Mineral oil is a liquid by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline and other petroleum-based products from crude oil. It’s clear, colorless, and tasteless, and is produced in large quantities. I certainly wouldn’t trust any corporate entity to go through any additional refining before adding it to any product. IMHO I think people should know they are putting petroleum and petroleum by-products on their skin or hair and let them decide if it’s safe or not.

Gio February 26, 2017 - 7:38 pm

Terrie, big corporations aren’t the most reliable but I don’t think they’re breaking the law in this way, Cosmetic grade mineral oil is the only type of mineral oil allowed in cosmetics and it’s perfectly safe. If you don’t like it and prefer to use something else, that’s totally fine too.

Andrea July 29, 2015 - 12:39 pm

Isohexadecane is a derivative of petroleum. Not saying it’s bad for you, but there may be environmental effects – not definitive but possibly.

Gio July 29, 2015 - 12:46 pm

Andrea, that’s a good point. I tend to focus on adverse effects on humans, and, for us, isohexadecane is safe. But sadly the effects of most of these ingredients on the environment aren’t studied. If that worries you, definitely opt for natural products.

theeTiffany May 29, 2016 - 3:50 am

This is a great post! I’m glad to see fellow bloggers and vloggers sharing information most important. I have always worn mineral powder and I am moving into liquid foundations and wanted to do research on ingredients and came across your blog. Very helpful! Thank you!

Gio May 30, 2016 - 10:24 pm

Theetiffany, so glad to hear you find the site helpful. Do let me know if you need any help with your research, and how you are getting on with liquid foundations. 🙂


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.