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* An emulsifier and fragrance ingredient
* Please read TIA’s article on What Is It: PEGs
PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is the polyethylene glycol derivatives of hydrogenated castor oil, and is an amber colored, slightly viscous liquid that has a naturally mildly fatty odor. It is used in cosmetics and beauty products as an emulsifier, surfactant, and fragrance ingredient, according to research.
PEGs are not considered to be irritants or sensitizers, and are CIR and FDA approved for use, but not on broken skin. The CIR has found that PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is safe for use in concentrations of up to 100% without causing irritation, although it has been shown to increase the sensitization potential of other ingredients. It's molecular weight of 40 means that it is minimally absorbed by the skin.
Despite the many fears regarding PEGs, 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."
The Cosmetics Database found PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil to be a moderate hazard depending on use and notes contamination and toxicity concerns.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Toxicology, PEGs (including PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil) 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).
E'shee Clinical Esthetic Cellular Repair Serum ($179 in the shop), Skinfinite Platinum PM Cream 1% Retinol ($63 in the shop) and E'shee Clinical Esthetic Elixir of Life KI Therapy Serum ($189 in the shop).
As much as possible, products in the Truth In Aging shop are chosen for their safety profile as well as effectiveness.