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Peg Oleate: An In-Depth Look at Its Role in Cosmetics

Article last updated: June 13, 2024

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Ever wondered what makes your favorite skincare products so effective? Dive into our comprehensive exploration of PEG Oleate, uncovering its creation, myriad cosmetic benefits, and the essential considerations you need to know.

What Is Peg Oleate?

Peg Oleate, also known as (Z)-alpha-9-Octadecenyl-omega-hydroxy-poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), is a cosmetic ingredient primarily used for its perfuming properties. Derived from oleic acid, which is a fatty acid found in various animal and vegetable fats and oils, Peg Oleate is a polyethylene glycol ester of oleic acid. This ingredient is often referred to by other names such as Polyethylene Glycol Oleate or simply PEG Oleate.

The history of Peg Oleate in cosmetic products dates back to the mid-20th century when chemists began to explore the potential of polyethylene glycol (PEG) derivatives in various applications. Its ability to act as a surfactant and emulsifier made it a valuable addition to the cosmetic industry, particularly in formulations where fragrance stability and distribution were crucial.

Peg Oleate is synthesized through a chemical reaction known as esterification, where oleic acid is reacted with polyethylene glycol. This process results in a compound that combines the hydrophilic (water-attracting) properties of polyethylene glycol with the lipophilic (oil-attracting) characteristics of oleic acid. The resulting ingredient is versatile and effective in enhancing the scent profile of cosmetic products, ensuring that fragrances are well-distributed and long-lasting.

The Benefits/Uses of Peg Oleate

In this section, we will delve into the officially recognized cosmetic benefits and uses of Peg Oleate:


Peg Oleate is primarily used in cosmetics for its perfuming properties. This means that it helps to impart a pleasant fragrance to the product. When you apply a cosmetic product containing Peg Oleate, you might notice a subtle, appealing scent that enhances your overall experience. This can make your skincare or beauty routine more enjoyable, as the pleasant aroma can uplift your mood and provide a sense of luxury.

Note: the listed benefits above are exclusively based on the officially recognized and defined functions of the ingredient, as documented by the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI).

Potential Side Effects & Other Considerations

Peg Oleate is generally considered safe for use in cosmetic products. However, as with any ingredient, there are potential side effects and considerations to keep in mind.

  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Contact dermatitis

Regarding individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding, data and research on the topical usage of Peg Oleate during pregnancy are lacking. It is advisable for these individuals to consult a healthcare professional for further advice.

Adverse reactions to Peg Oleate are relatively uncommon, but they can occur. It is recommended to perform a patch test before widespread usage to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

On a comedogenicity scale of 0 to 5, Peg Oleate is generally considered to have a low comedogenic rating, typically around 1. This means it is unlikely to clog pores and cause acne or breakouts, making it suitable for people prone to blemishes. However, individual reactions can vary, so it is important to monitor your skin’s response when using products containing this ingredient.

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