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* A surfactant and emulsifier
Laureth-7 is a synthetic compound obtained by the extensive chemical modification of Lauric Acid, a natural fatty acid, and Oxirane, according to Cosmetics Unmasked. Laureth-7 is used as an emulsifier and surfactant in the formulation of a variety of bath, eye, facial, hair, cleansing and sunscreen products, as well as cuticle softeners, deodorants and moisturizing products.
All of the Laureth ingredients are produced by reacting Ethylene Oxide with Lauryl Alcohol and the number associated with the Laureth - in this case, 7 - refers to the average number of repeating Ethylene Oxide units in the molecule. According to research, as the numerical value of Laureths increases, the viscosity of the ingredient increases until they become white, waxy solids. Ultimately, Laureth-7 is low on the Laureth scale, which reaches Laureth-40. Therefore, Laureth-7 has a low-viscosity. However, there is some research which shows that the lower the numerical value of the Laureth, the higher the risk for irritation.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
The CIR expert panel has conducted research on two (Laureth-4 and Laureth-23) of the many Laureths and made an inclusive approval of all Laureths, including Laureth-7, for the use in cosmetics. However, small amounts of 1,4-dioxane, a by-product of ethoxylation, may be found in the Laureth ingredients, and the potential presence of it can be controlled through purification steps to remove it before blending Laureth-7 into cosmetic formulations (Source).
Recommended Products w/ Laureth-7:
Aveeno Ultra-Calming Night Cream, Olay Professional Pro X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream, Chantecaille Nano Gold Energizing Cream, Olay Definity Color Recapture, Kinerase Clear Skin Regulating Mask, GM Collin Retinol Advanced, Neova Day Therapy, Revlon Age Defying Spa Foundation