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Safety Evaluation of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Compounds for Cosmetic Use

Abstract

Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are products of condensed ethylene oxide and water that can have various derivatives and functions. Since many PEG types are hydrophilic, they are favorably used as penetration enhancers, especially in topical dermatological preparations. PEGs, together with their typically nonionic derivatives, are broadly utilized in cosmetic products as surfactants, emulsifiers, cleansing agents, humectants, and skin conditioners. The compounds studied in this review include PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer, PEG-20 glyceryl triisostearate, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, and PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil. Overall, much of the data available in this review are on PEGylated oils (PEG-40 and PEG-60 hydroge-nated castor oils), which were recommended as safe for use in cosmetics up to 100% concentration. Currently, PEG-20 glyceryl triisostearate and PEGylated oils are considered safe for cosmetic use according to the results of relevant studies. Additionally, PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer should be further studied to ensure its safety as a cosmetic ingredient.

Abbreviations

CIR:

Cosmetic Ingredient Review

IgG:

immunoglobulin G

PEGs:

polyethylene glycols

PEO:

polyethylene oxide

POE:

polyoxyethylene

PPG:

polypropylene glycol

S-D:

Sprague-Dawley

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Correspondence to Kyu-Bong Kim.

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Jang, HJ., Shin, C.Y. & Kim, KB. Safety Evaluation of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Compounds for Cosmetic Use. Toxicol Res. 31, 105–136 (2015). https://doi.org/10.5487/TR.2015.31.2.105

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Key words

  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
  • PEG compound
  • Safety evaluation