Lotions, creams, shampoos, hair dyes, foundations... "C13-14 Alkane" is an ingredient used in some cosmetic products due to its physical and sensory properties. But what is this compound? What does it bring to the formulation?
What is "C13-14 Alkane"?
The "C13-14 Alkane" is a linear and branched alkane of petrochemical origin, long used for their versatility. It is a mixture of saturated carbon chains containing 13 and 14 carbon atoms in its alkyl chain. It is a clear, colourless, odourless liquid, completely soluble in oils (liposoluble). Highly stable, it is also very resistant to oxidation, even in systems with extreme pH. The "C13-14 Alkane" is found in skincare products, hair care products, and even in makeup.
However, it has its flaws: on one hand, it is derived from non-renewable fossil raw materials and on the other hand, it is far from being fully biodegradable, thus leading to pollution of ecosystems. Nevertheless, a biosourced C13-14 alkane derived from plant-based raw materials, either from refined vegetable oils through conventional chemical processes or through biological synthesis processes from sugar, has recently appeared on the cosmetic market. Identical to their traditional counterpart derived from petrochemicals, it thus constitutes a good functional alternative.
The "C13-14 Alkane" used in our night serums is of natural origin, manufactured in Europe from fatty acids derived from palm, coconut, soybean or canola oils.
"C13-14 Alkane": Why is it used in cosmetology?
With their unique sensory profile, "C13-14 Alkane" can serve as anon-polar emollient, solvent, and solubilising/wetting agent.
It provides emollience, a soft application, and a dry finish. In other words, it moderates the final touch of oily products to reduce their greasy and undesirable appearance without compromising the quality of the product, thus contributing to the feeling of "dryness" and making them less greasy. This property is explained by the fact that it is a semi-volatile compound, allowing it to be quickly absorbed and leave little or no residue on the skin and hair.
The "C13-14 Alkane" is also used in formulations as a solvent. Specifically, it is used to create an oily base in which to dissolve, dilute or extract fatty compounds, while allowing them to be evenly distributed throughout the skincare product.
In makeup formulation, it functions as a solubilising/wetting agent for pigments, which are soluble in fatty substances, in tinted cosmetics and hair dyes, thereby enabling their dispersion in the formulation. This enhances the performance and intensity of the colour.
Is "C13-14 Alkane" dangerous?
The "C13-14 Alkane" has a superb skin tolerance. Non-irritating, non-sensitising, this alkane is harmless to human health and the environment.