Isopropyl myristate is an ester of isopropyl alcohol – also known as rubbing alcohol - and myristic acid – a natural fatty acid. It is used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry, mainly in topical skin care products, as a moisturizing and absorption enhancing agent. Its also used as an anti-bacterial and pesticidal agent.
1. Isopropyl myristate – Properties
Isopropyl myristate is the oil composed of isopropyl alcohol and a commonly existing fatty acid – myristic acid.
It is used in the cosmetic industry including the hair, skin, and perfume industry. It’s used as prosthetic make-up removing product.
Some important properties of this agent have been tabulated below:
|IUPAC name||Propane-2-yl tetradecanoate|
|Another name||Myristic acid isopropyl ester|
|Molar mass||270.45 gram per mole|
|Boiling point||440 K|
|Physical form||Oily Liquid|
|Color||Colorless or Pale yellow|
|Solubility||Castor oil, acetone, chloroform, ethyl acetate etc|
2. What is isopropyl myristate used for?
Isopropyl myristate - also known as myristic acid isopropyl ester – is used mainly in the cosmetic industry although it finds its uses as a bactericidal and pesticidal agent.
Well, if you are wondering that how to be pretty, then the first requirement is to take care of your skin, so that even the use of a simple make-up or an expensive Farmasi make-up can give you the desired look.
- Isopropyl myristate is one of these must-needed skincare products. Some important uses of this agent are given as:
2.1. Moisturizer and absorption enhancer
Isopropyl myristate has emollient properties and acts as a hydrating agent when used in skincare products or topical medicinal agents.
Although it does not show anti-aging effects just as we get when we use olive oil for skin, yet it can help to keep the skin hydrated.
When used in skincare products, it acts as a carrier and increases the absorption of product in the skin.
Keeping the skin hydrated is one of the best ways to get rid of textured skin. Its use is allowed as an active ingredient but only in over-the-counter products.
2.2. Pesticidal and anti-bacterial uses
As it has some potential as a pesticide so used to kill the head lice when used in the wax that covers the exoskeleton of the lice.
This process causes the death of head lice - that is a kind of pest - when they undergo dehydration.
When used in mouthwashes, isopropyl myristate acts as an antibacterial agent to kill the germs of the oral cavity.
2.3. Flavoring agent
Isopropyl myristate can also be used as a flavoring agent in the food industry.
However, naturally it’s odorless and has an oily consistency with a clear texture.
2.4. Makeup remover
As it has emollient properties when used in higher quantity, isopropyl myristate also acts as a makeup removing agent.
It’s also used as castor oil substituent.
Isopropyl myristate – a synthetic ester of isopropyl alcohol and myristic acid - has the following uses:
Emollient and absorption enhancing agent
Moisturizing or hydrating agent
Makeup removing agent when used in higher quantity
Used in perfumes
Used as pesticidal and anti-bacterial agent
3. Isopropyl myristate in skincare
Isopropyl myristate, an ester of isopropyl alcohol and myristic acid – that is normally present in coconut oil.
Its basic uses include an emollient, moisturizer, thickening agent, lubricant, and absorption enhancing agent.
Just like the uses of grapeseed oil for skin and hair, isopropyl myristate also finds uses for both the skin and the hair.
Why isopropyl myristate?
It’s preferred over other emollients because it also enhances the skin absorption of other products.
- Isopropyl myristate has widely been used in the cosmetic industry acting in the same way as hyaluronic acid – that is used in Lip fillers.
3.1. Acts as emollient
Emollients are the agents that soften the skin and add or lock moisture to the skin. Isopropyl myristate – being an oily product – is used as an emollient.
It prevents skin irritation and itching when used in skincare products.
Dry skin is used as a result of dehydration, so if you want to get rid of textured skin, you can use skin care products containing isopropyl myristate.
It will also prevent you from being worried about how much water should you drink a day to retain a moisturized and healthy skin.
- Textured skin is the biggest problem of women and it can overcome by the use of moisture adding agents such as isopropyl myristate.
3.2. Penetration enhancers
One of the best properties of isopropyl myristate is that it not only acts positively by itself but also helps in the absorption of other products.
It acts as a carrier and increases the penetration of other products when used in combination.
However, the exact process involved in penetration enhancing is not so clear. Maybe it alters the structure of the stratum corneum – outer layer of skin and eases the absorption of products.
3.3. Nourishment of epidermis
Stratum corneum is the outermost layer of skin – commonly known as the epidermis. Isopropyl myristate acts as a strengthening and nourishing agent for the epidermis.
Just like the walls of the house are made of bricks and cement, epidermal cells act as bricks and isopropyl myristate acts as cement.
Same as the butylene glycol, isopropyl myristate also acts as a skin-conditioning agent by locking the moisture.
- Nourishes stratum corneum
- Keeps skin hydrated
- Enhances absorption of co-ingredients
- Helps to get rid of textured skin and acne
4. Isopropyl myristate – Hair
Isopropyl myristate – also known as myristic acid isopropyl ester – is a triglyceride made up of isopropyl alcohol and fatty acid – known as myristic acid.
Being triglyceride, it acts to provide shine and lubrication to hair when used in hair care products.
As it’s present as a natural ingredient of coconut oil and palm oils, so it can be used instead of oils for hair.
A high ponytail always looks better for shiny and less greasy hair, which is obviously obtained by isopropyl myristate.
Isopropyl myristate offers moisturizing, nourishment, and softness to hair, and additionally, it’s far less greasy than normal oils.
So, if you have long and shiny hair, you can easily check out the hairstyles for long hair to have a look that you actually want.
So, if you have healthy, shiny, and fine-textured hair, other hair products like flaxseed gel will also give you better results in order to the appearance of hair.
5. Best Products with isopropyl myristate
As it has absorption enhancing property, it is used as a basic ingredient in a lot of products – both in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry.
Some best products containing isopropyl myristate have been listed below:
1. Vaseline cocoa radiant spray
Acts as a moisturizer
Less greasy and non-sticky
Used as a skincare product
Costs about $5.00
2. RoC retinol correxion anti-aging eye cream
Gentle and effective
Best as a starting product with retinol
Isopropyl improves penetration
3. Peter Thomas Roth youth serum
Contains five peptides that improve skin
Isopropyl myristate present as action enhancer
Boosts the penetration of co-ingredients
Gives elegant texture
4. Melanie Simon skincare serum
It also includes five ingredients for skincare
Also contains vitamin C
Changes from the oily to dry feeling when penetrated
Isopropyl myristate is present as an absorption enhancer
5. Skinceuticals Hydra balm
Helps to get rid of flaking and dryness of skin
Isopropyl myristate and squalene are present as emollients
Petrolatum is present as a moisture sealing agent
6. Isopropyl myristate- Toxicity
Isopropyl myristate is the basic ingredient in a lot of skincare and hair care products because of its emollient nature.
As its permitted safe value ranges from 100-200 ml if it’s used in higher quantities, may cause slight skin irritation.
If used orally, may cause adverse effects to the liver or blood. Its side effects have been listed below according to the studies:
Slight skin irritation in humans
Slight irritation of Rabbit’s eye
Slight to moderate irritation to Rabbit’s skin
Higher oral intake may result into laxative effects
Long term oral use can cause liver and blood side effects
It can clog the pores of the skin
People with sensitive skin should be cautious while using isopropyl myristate in combination with retinoic acid – which Is used to get rid of acne - and some other acids that have reactive potential
7. Isopropyl myristate use in perfumes
Because of its lightweight and emollient nature, isopropyl myristate is not only used in skincare products but also in perfumery.
As it provides a nice and soft texture when used in lotions, it is also used in perfumes as 100% base.
Because of the soft and light texture, it’s best to be used as a base in the perfumes with the spray top as it causes no problem in the expulsion of perfume.
Isopropyl myristate perfume recipe
A perfume can be made by using isopropyl myristate and fragrant oils. Amounts of both ingredients can be taken from some perfume ingredients section.
Frequently asked questions
There are a lot of relevant questions that are asked by people repeatedly. Some of them have been answered briefly in this section.
1. Is isopropyl alcohol the same as isopropyl myristate?
They both are not the same as isopropyl myristate is an ester of myristic acid – which is a fatty acid – and isopropyl alcohol – also known as rubbing alcohol.
Isopropyl alcohol is the component of isopropyl myristate that is used as an emollient and absorption enhancing agent.
2. Can isopropyl alcohol be used as hand sanitizer?
Although isopropyl myristate is present in the hand sanitizers as an ingredient yet it can not b used alone as a hand sanitizer.
It has anti-bacterial and pesticide properties but it kills the bacteria present in the oral cavity when used as a mouth wash.
It is used in hand sanitizers because of its moisturizing and emollient properties to keep the skin of hands nourished.
3. Where can I buy isopropyl myristate?
Isopropyl myristate is a natural surfactant and can be bought by Walmart.
But you must be knowing that when does Walmart restock while ordering a product, in case they are run short of the product.
You can go to Walmart.com and order the required amount of isopropyl myristate.
4. Can you drink isopropyl myristate?
Isopropyl alcohol, which is the component of isopropyl myristate is a poisonous agent. It is incorporated in hand sanitizers as a disinfectant.
While it’s a skin conditioning agent and not an edible oil so it is not recommended to use isopropyl myristate orally as it may cause liver and blood problems.
Isopropyl myristate – an ester of isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol and myristic acid, a common fatty acid present in coconut oil or palm oil, etc. – is an emollient and absorption enhancer.
It is used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry in combination with other products as it enhances their absorption.
Isopropyl myristate is used in perfumes, as a flavoring agent, as a moisturizing agent, and also an as anti-bacterial and pesticide agent.
According to studies, it causes slight skin irritation and its oral consumption is not recommended as it may cause liver and blood problems.