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PEG 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate

* A surfactant and emulsifier

* Please read TIA’s article on What Is It: PEGs

Functions:

PEG 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate is the polyethylene glycol ether of the diester of natural Methylglucose and Oleic Acid. It is used in beauty products and cosmetics as a surfactant and emulsifier. It is used as a thickener in hair and skin care products. It is considered a non-irritant, and also has a specific property that allows it to reduce the irritation value of whole formulas (Source). The high molecular weight of this specific PEG makes it impenetratable to healthy skin; it is FDA and CIR approved for use, but not on broken skin.

Despite the many fears regarding PEGs (including PEG 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate), they are seen as an ingredient in a large number of products because of their diverse properties. In a study published in the Toxicology journal in 2005, entitled "Safety assessment on polyethylene glycols (PEGs) and their derivatives as used in cosmetic products," it was concluded that: "Taking into consideration all available information from related compounds, as well as the mode and mechanism of action, no safety concern with regard to these endpoints could be identified. Based on the available data it is therefore concluded that PEGs of a wide molecular weight range (200 to over 10,000), their ethers (laureths, ceteths, ceteareths, steareths, and oleths), and fatty acid esters (laurates, dilaurates, stearates, distearates) are safe for use in cosmetics."

Safety Measures/Side Effects:

The Cosmetics Database notes that PEG 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate is a moderate hazard depending on use and warns of contamination and toxicity concerns.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Toxicology, PEGs can contain harmful impurities, including: Ethylene Oxide, known to increase the incidences of uterine and breast cancers and of leukemia and brain cancer, according to experimental results reported by the National Toxicology Program; 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen; PAHs, known to increase the risk of breast cancer; lead; iron; and arsenic (Source).

Products and formulas containing PEGs should not be used on broken or irritated skin. Although PEGs are considered safe for use topically on healthy skin, studies showed that patients suffering from severe burns were treated with PEG-based antimicrobial cream; this treatment resulted in kidney toxicity. "The PEG content of the antimicrobial cream was determined to be the causative agent. However, no evidence of systemic toxicity occurred in studies with intact skin. Because of the observation of kidney effects in burn patients, the CIR Expert Panel qualified their conclusion on the safety of the PEG ingredients to state that cosmetic formulations containing these ingredients should not be used on damaged skin" (CosmeticsInfo.org).

Recommended Products w/ PEG 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate:

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