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EC / List no.: 500-038-2
CAS no.: 25322-68-3

PEG 20 is seen in a variety of forms in beauty products and cosmetics, primarily as emollients and surfactants. 
As a PEG with a lower molecular weight, it is minimally absorbed into the skin. 
Two forms of PEG 20, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate and Sorbitan Beeswax are among the most popular PEG 20 ingredients found in skin care products.


PEG 20 is seen in a variety of forms in beauty products and cosmetics, primarily as emollients and surfactants. 
As a PEG with a lower molecular weight, it is minimally absorbed into the skin. 
Two forms of PEG 20, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate and Sorbitan Beeswax are among the most popular PEG 20 ingredients found in skin care products.

PEG 20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate is a water soluble derivative comprised of the polyethylene glycol ether of the mono anddiesters of methyl glucose and stearic acid, the EWG notes that it is a moderate hazard depending on usage. 
PEG 20 Sorbitan Beeswax was assessed in a study published by the International Journal of Toxicology in 2001 and found to be a non-irritant to rabbit skin up to 2% concentrations, although it is used in products at concentrations as high as 11%. 
"Careful consideration was made of the data on the cocarcinogenesis, but the high exposure levels, high frequency of exposure, and absence of a dose-response led to the conclusion that there was not a cocarcinogenesis risk with the use of these ingredients in cosmetic formulations. 
Accordingly, these ingredients were considered safe for use in cosmetic formulations under the present practices of use."

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."

PEG-20 is classified as :
CAS Number    25322-68-3
COSING REF No:    77940
INN Name:    macrogol 1000
Chem/IUPAC Name:    Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), .alpha.-hydro-.omega.-hydroxy-, (20 mol EO average molar ratio)

PEG-20 is primarily used in the beauty industry. 
It acts as a solvent for the active substances of cosmetic formulations. 
As a humectant, it also has a moisturising effect.
The same properties of PEG-20 determine its use in the paints and printing inks industry and polymer processing. 
It is readily chosen by formulators in industrial sectors.

General characteristics
PEG-20 is a synthetic polymer that belongs to the group of polyethers. 
It is formed by the ethylene oxide polymerisation reaction. 
PEG-20 is an INCI name of the compound, while its full chemical name is polyethylene glycol 1000. 
Its CAS number is 25322-68-3. 
In products, it mostly acts as an emulsifier.

This surfactant has the form of a solid with a waxy consistency. 
Its colour varies from white to light yellow. 
It has a faint odour. 
A marketed product (e.g. POLIkol 1000 in the product range offered by the PCC Group) contains over 99% of the active substance. 
Water accounts for an up to 1% of the product and is considered an impurity, its low content does not have any substantial impact on the product quality. 
The molar mass of PEG-20 is approx. 1000 g/mol. 
The substance dissolves well in water. 
It is also soluble in low aliphatic alcohols such as methanol or ethanol.
The pure substance solidifies at the temperature from 35 to 40ᵒC. 
It is safe and non-toxic.

Function of PEG-20 in cosmetic products
PEG-20 is an ingredient of different types of cosmetics, where it mostly acts as a solubiliser, lubricant and humectant. 
As a solubiliser, it is used primarily in such cosmetic products that have water as a solvent. 
A solubiliser allows you to introduce into the emulsion fatty substances, fragrance compositions or other ingredients that are poorly soluble or insoluble in water.

Due to the moisturising properties of PEG-20 and its humectant nature, cosmetics that contain this ingredient are suitable for the care of dry skin or skin prone to dryness. 
Humectants such as PEG-20 retain water in the skin and prevent water loss. 
Thus they maintain the right moisture level and make the skin look healthy and nourished.

As regards cosmetic products, PEG-20 is present in foundations, beauty creams, soaps as well as toothpastes and hair styling products.

Other applications of PEG-20
As a humectant and moisturiser, PEG-20 is one of the substances used in the paints and printing inks industry. 
Besides its unlimited solubility in water, PEG-20 absorbs water molecules from the environment (including air) and thus is a perfect drying time regulator.

PEG-20 is also used in the plastics industry. It is used in rubber and elastomer processing. 
It acts as an anti-adhesive agent in these processes. Such compounds primarily make it easier to separate the finished product from the mould. 
With the use of substances such as PEG-20, it is possible to enhance the process to a large extent, e.g. by reducing damage to products and moulds.

PEG-20 has been approved by an international organisation, i.e. the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for use as an indirect food additive. 
PEG-20 is used as a lubricant in the food industry. 
Ensure to use doses as specified.

The anti-electrostatic properties of PEG-20 determine its use in the formulations of industrial cleaning agents and metalworking processes.

A  clear viscous polymer (a molecule from repeated subunits) liquid that works as a solvent and humectant.

According to manufacturer info, it's recommended for all kinds of washing products (like hand dishwashing detergents or fine-fabric washing powders) and is ideal as a viscosity regulator, detergent booster, and solubilizer.

PEG-20 is a surfactant that, in its applications, mainly acts as an emulsifier, wetting agent and also a dispersing agent. 
Due to its properties, PEG-20 has a wide range of industrial applications, from personal care cosmetics to self-hardening concretes. 
Due to their unique advantages, PEG-20 commercial products are eagerly chosen by consumers.

Physico-chemical properties and general characteristics
The chemical compound named PEG-20 in the INCI taxonomy is a derivative resulting from the ethoxylation of polyethylene glycol with six moles of ethylene oxide. 
Chemically, it is a synthetic substance that is a product of ethylene oxide polymerization. 
The chemical name of PEG-20 is polyoxyethylene glycol. 
The CAS number of this compound, thanks to which it can be easily found, for example in the catalogues of chemical wholesalers, is 25322-68-3.

The use of PEG-20 in cosmetic products
The function of PEG-20 in cosmetic skin care formulations is mainly based on its action as a solvent for active substances. 
Moreover, its softening and anti-electrostatic properties are also used in cosmetics. 
These features are especially useful in all kinds of hair care products, such as shampoos or conditioners. 
Due to the content of PEG-20 in such products, after application, the refreshing effect is visible and they prevent excessive tangling of the hair. 
PEG-20, being a highly hygroscopic substance, acts as a solubilizer and humectant. 
It binds water on the surface where it is used. 
Thanks to this, it prevents water loss, e.g. through the skin, and ensures that the hydration is kept at a constant level. 
It can also be effectively used to modify the rheology of active substances.

PEG-20 as one of the additives in the construction industry
PEG-20 is a representative of surfactants that are used in the construction industry. 
Very good hygroscopic properties mean that, as one of the components of building mixtures, it prevents excessive water loss and improves the bonding of the material. 
PEG-20 is also used for hardening concrete and cement mortars – by maintaining the right proportions when dosing, it is possible to significantly increase the mechanical strength of the already hardened concrete. 
It can also be used in the design of self-hardening concretes.

Other applications of PEG-20
The anti-electrostatic properties of PEG-20 are not only used in hair care products, but also in industrial cleaning and metalworking processes.

PEG-20 is one of the ingredients of preparations used in the agrochemical industry. 
It has the unique ability to bind to water molecules, which is why it is said to be highly hygroscopic. 
Thanks to this, it is suitable for the production of, for example, plant fertilizers.

In the chemical industry, PEG-20 is one of the raw materials for the production of esters.

PEG-20 is a Polymer of ethylene oxide PEG-20 uses and applications include. 
Lubricant for rubber molds, textile fibers, metalworking, in food and food packaging; humectant, solvent in cosmetics, hair preparations, pharmaceutic aid, in gas chromatography, in paints, paper coatings, polishes, ceramics, plasticizer for cellulose nitrate, food coating, binder, plasticizer, lubricant, flavor adjuvant, bodying agent, defoamer, pharmaceutical coating, suppository base, lubricant, solvent; in food packaging adhesives, thickener, carrier, modifier, solvent, lubricant for personal care products (makeup, bath preparations, toothpaste), foam control agents, synthetic lubricants, rubber and plastics, metalworking fluids, chemical intermediates.

Odor: characteristic
Use: Emulsifier for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, Stabilizer for color materials, Stabilizer for emulsion polymerizations, Emulsifier for adjuvant of agrochemicals, Emulsifier for water based metal process cutting oils, Surface coating type antistatic agents.

INCI name: PEG-20
Food additive: E1521
Classification: PEG / PPG, Ethoxylated compound, Glycol, Synthetic polymer
Its functions (INCI)
Humectant : Maintains water content of a cosmetic both in its packaging and on the skin
Solvent : Dissolves other substances

PEG-20 Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides is a water-soluble emollient made from medium chain triglycerides typically sourced from coconut oil. 
The HLB value is approximately 12.5–14.

Why do we use it in formulations?    PEG-20 Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides are pretty versatile! 
I primarily use this ingredient as the active cleansing ingredient in micellar water formulations.
I’ve experimented with every liquid surfactant/solubilizer I own and only PEG-20 Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides  produce good results.
PEG-20 Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides can also be included in body washes and other surfactant products to make them gentler and more emollient, and as a solubilizer.

Do you need it?:
If you want to make micellar water I consider it to be essential. Otherwise, no.

Refined or unrefined?
PEG-20 Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides only exists as a refined product.

Excellent skin feel, even in leave-on applications. Versatile, gentle ingredient.

Not considered natural, can be harder to find than other surfactants.

How to Work with It    
Include it in the water phase of your products, PEG-20 Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides can be hot or cold processed.

Storage & Shelf Life    
Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, PEG-20 Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides should last at least 2–3 years.

Used as a solvent (nitrocellulose, coatings, adhesives, inks, lacquers, lubricants, metalworking fluids, and textile finishes).
Also used to extract other solvents, to soften paper tissue, and to make other chemicals.
Used as a solvent, extractant, plasticizer, humectant (natural gas), and lubricant (textiles).
Also used in cement grinding and brake fluid manufacturing.

Industrial Processes 
• Metal Machining [Category: Heat or Machine]
• Petroleum Production and Refining [Category: Industry]
• Pulp and Paper Processing [Category: Industry]
• Painting (Pigments, Binders, and Biocides) [Category: Paint]
• Working with Glues and Adhesives [Category: Other]
• Textiles (Printing, Dyeing, or Finishing) [Category: Industry]

Industry Uses    
• Functional fluids (closed systems)
• Intermediates
• Lubricants and lubricant additives
• Plating agents and surface treating agents
• Solvents (which become part of product formulation or mixture)

Consumer Uses
• Anti-freeze and de-icing products
• Automotive care products
• Building/construction materials not covered elsewhere
• Fuels and related products
• Ink, toner, and colorant products
• Intermediates
• Lubricants and greases
• used in products which are used as paint strippers and/or used as cleaners in plating processes for automotive industry and machinery.

General Manufacturing Information
Industry Processing Sectors
• All other basic organic chemical manufacturing
• All other chemical product and preparation manufacturing
• All other petroleum and coal products manufacturing
• Asphalt paving, roofing, and coating materials manufacturing
• Miscellaneous manufacturing
• Oil and gas drilling, extraction, and support activities
• Petrochemical manufacturing
• Petroleum lubricating oil and grease manufacturing
• Printing ink manufacturing

Chemical properties    
PEG-20 is a polymer which is hydrolyzed by ethylene oxide. 
PEG-20 has no toxicity and irritation. 
PEG-20 is widely used in various pharmaceutical preparations. 
The toxicity of low molecular weight PEG-20 is relatively large. 

Chemical Properties    
PEG-20 describes polyethylene glycol as being an addition polymer of ethylene oxide and water. 
Polyethylene glycol grades 200–600 are liquids; grades 1000 and above are solids at ambient temperatures.
Liquid grades (PEG 200–600) occur as clear, colorless or slightly yellow-colored, viscous liquids. 
They have a slight but characteristic odor and a bitter, slightly burning taste. 
PEG-20 can occur as a solid at ambient temperatures.
Solid grades (PEG>1000) are white or off-white in color, and range in consistency from pastes to waxy flakes. 
They have a faint, sweet odor. 
Grades of PEG 6000 and above are available as freeflowing milled powders.

PEG-20 is a binder, coating agent, dispersing agent, flavoring adjuvant, and plasticizing agent that is a clear, colorless, viscous, hygroscopic liquid resembling paraffin (white, waxy, or flakes), with a ph of 4.0–7.5 in 1:20 concentration. 
PEG-20 is soluble in water (mw 1,000) and many organic solvents.

PEG-20 (PEG) is a binder, solvent, plasticizing agent, and softener widely used for cosmetic cream bases and pharmaceutical ointments. Pegs are quite humectant up to a molecular weight of 500. 
Beyond this weight, their water uptake diminishes.

Used in conjunction with carbon black to form a conductive composite.1 Polymer nanospheres of poly(ethylene glycol) were used for drug delivery.

Poly(ethylene Glycol) molecules of approximately 6 monomers. 

The ring-opening polymerization of ethylene oxide is readily effected by a variety of ionic reagents and several types of polymer have been prepared. 
For commercial purposes, poly(ethylene oxide)s of low molecular weight and of very high molecular weight are of interest.
(a) Low molecular weight polymers
Poly(ethylene oxide)s of low molecular weight, i.e. below about 3000, are generally prepared by passing ethylene oxide into ethylene glycol at 120-150°C and about 0.3 MPa (3 atmospheres) pressure, using an alkaline initiator such as sodium hydroxide. 

About PEG-20
Helpful information
PEG-20 is registered under the REACH Regulation and is manufactured in and / or imported to the European Economic Area, at ≥ 100 to < 1 000 tonnes per annum.

PEG-20 is used by consumers, in articles, by professional workers (widespread uses), in formulation or re-packing and at industrial sites.

Consumer Uses
PEG-20 is used in the following products: cosmetics and personal care products, pharmaceuticals, polymers, air care products, finger paints and washing & cleaning products.
Other release to the environment of PEG-20 is likely to occur from: indoor use (e.g. machine wash liquids/detergents, automotive care products, paints and coating or adhesives, fragrances and air fresheners), outdoor use and indoor use in close systems with minimal release (e.g. cooling liquids in refrigerators, oil-based electric heaters).
Article service life
Other release to the environment of PEG-20 is likely to occur from: indoor use in long-life materials with low release rate (e.g. flooring, furniture, toys, construction materials, curtains, foot-wear, leather products, paper and cardboard products, electronic equipment) and outdoor use in long-life materials with low release rate (e.g. metal, wooden and plastic construction and building materials). PEG-20 can be found in complex articles, with no release intended: vehicles and machinery, mechanical appliances and electrical/electronic products (e.g. computers, cameras, lamps, refrigerators, washing machines). PEG-20 can be found in products with material based on: plastic (e.g. food packaging and storage, toys, mobile phones), fabrics, textiles and apparel (e.g. clothing, mattress, curtains or carpets, textile toys) and paper (e.g. tissues, feminine hygiene products, nappies, books, magazines, wallpaper).

Widespread uses by professional workers
PEG-20 is used in the following products: polymers, pharmaceuticals, laboratory chemicals and washing & cleaning products.
PEG-20 is used in the following areas: health services, printing and recorded media reproduction and scientific research and development.
PEG-20 is used for the manufacture of: food products and rubber products.
Other release to the environment of PEG-20 is likely to occur from: indoor use (e.g. machine wash liquids/detergents, automotive care products, paints and coating or adhesives, fragrances and air fresheners), outdoor use and indoor use in close systems with minimal release (e.g. cooling liquids in refrigerators, oil-based electric heaters).
Formulation or re-packing
PEG-20 is used in the following products: inks and toners, polymers, cosmetics and personal care products, textile treatment products and dyes and washing & cleaning products.
Release to the environment of PEG-20 can occur from industrial use: formulation of mixtures and formulation in materials.
Uses at industrial sites
PEG-20 is used in the following products: polymers, washing & cleaning products, lubricants and greases, inks and toners and textile treatment products and dyes.
PEG-20 is used in the following areas: printing and recorded media reproduction.
PEG-20 is used for the manufacture of: rubber products, plastic products, machinery and vehicles and textile, leather or fur.
Release to the environment of PEG-20 can occur from industrial use: as processing aid, in the production of articles, in processing aids at industrial sites and of substances in closed systems with minimal release.
ECHA has no public registered data on the routes by which PEG-20 is most likely to be released to the environment.

a,w-Hydroxypoly(ethylene oxide)
Ethane-1,2-diol, ethoxylated
PEG 200
Poly(ethylene glycol)
Poly(ethylene glycol), flake, 600
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl) , .alpha.-hydro-.omega.-hydroxy-
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), .alpha.-hydro-.omega.-hydroxy-
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), .alpha.-hydro-.omega.-hydroxy- (90,000 mol EO average molar ratio)
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), .alpha.-hydro-.omega.-hydroxy-Ethane-1,2-diol, ethoxylated
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), a-hydro-w-hydroxy-
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), alpha-hydro-omega-hydroxy-
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), α-hydro-ω-hydroxy- Ethane-1,2-diol, ethoxylated
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl),-hydro-hydroxy- Ethane-1,2-diol,
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl),?-hydro-?-hydroxy- Ethane-1,2-diol, ethoxylated
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl),??-hydro-??-hydroxy- Ethane-1,2-diol, ethoxylated
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl),a-hydro-?-hydroxy- Ethane-1,2-diol, ethoxylated
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl),α-hydro-ω-hydroxy- Ethane-1,2-diol
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl),α-hydro-ω-hydroxy- Ethane-1,2-diol, ethoxylate
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl),α-hydro-ω-hydroxy- Ethane-1,2-diol, ethoxylated
Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl),α-hydro-ω-hydroxy-Ethane-1,2-diol, ethoxylated
poly(oxyethylene) {structure-based}, poly(ethylene oxide) {source-based}
Polyethylene Glycol
Polyethylene glycol
polyethylene glycol
Polyethylene glycol
Polyethylene Glycol 1000
Polyethylene glycol 3,350
Polyethylenglykole (PEG)
Polymer aus Ethylenglycol

112-60-7 [RN]
1634320 [Beilstein]
2,2'-[Oxybis(2,1-ethandiyloxy)]diethanol [German] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
2,2'-[Oxybis(2,1-ethanediyloxy)]diethanol [ACD/IUPAC Name]
2,2'-[Oxybis(2,1-éthanediyloxy)]diéthanol [French] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
203-989-9 [EINECS]
Bis[2-(2-hydroxyethoxy)ethyl] ether
Ethanol, 2,2'-[oxybis(2,1-ethanediyloxy)]bis- [ACD/Index Name]
MFCD00002879 [MDL number]
Tetra(ethylene glycol)
Tetraethylene glycol
tetraethylene glycol-
[112-60-7] [RN]
1,2,3-Propanetriol, polymer with 2,4-diisocyanato-1-methylbenzene, 2-ethyl-2-(hydroxymethyl)-1,3-pro
1,3-Bis(1-isocyanato-1-methylethyl)benzene homopolymer
125481-05-2 [RN]
127821-00-5 [RN]
157299-02-0 [RN]
19327-39-0 [RN]
2-(2-{2-[2-(2-Methoxy-Ethoxy)-Ethoxy]-Ethoxy} -Ethoxy)-Ethanol
2,5,8,11,14,17,20,23,26,29,32,35,38,41,44,47,50,53,56,59,62,65,68,71,74,77,80-Heptacosaoxadooctacontan-82-ol [ACD/Index Name] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
25322-68-3 [RN]
3,6, 9-Trioxaundecane-1,11-diol
3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24,27,30,33,36,39-Tridecaoxahentetracontane-1,41-diol [ACD/Index Name] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24,27-Nonaoxanonacosane-1,29-diol [ACD/Index Name] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24-Octaoxahexacosan-1-ol [ACD/Index Name] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
3,6,9,12,15,18,21-Heptaoxatricosane-1,23-diol [ACD/Index Name] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
3,6,9,12,15,18-Hexaoxaicosane-1,20-diol [ACD/IUPAC Name]
3,6,9,12,15-Pentaoxaheptadecane [ACD/Index Name] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
59865-13-3 [RN]
79688-08-7 [RN]
bis[2-(2-hydroxyethoxy)ethyl] ether(tetraethylene glycol)
Carbitol, diethyl
Dodecaethylene Glycol
Ethanol, 2,2'-(oxybis(2,1-ethanediyloxy))bis-
Ethanol, 2,2'-(oxybis(ethyleneoxy))di-
Ethanol, 2,2'-[oxybis (2,1-ethanediyloxy)]bis-
Ethanol, 2,2'-[oxybis(ethyleneoxy)]di-
Nonaethylene Glycol
Pentaethylene Glycol
Pentaethylene glycol monodecyl ether
Polyethylene Glycol (N34)
polyethylene glycol 2,000
radH protein
tetra-ethylene glycol
Tetraethylene glycol monooctyl ether
Alcox E 160
Alcox E 30
Poly(ethylene oxide),approx. M.W. 600,000
Poly(ethylene oxide),approx. M.W. 200,000
Poly(ethylene oxide),approx. M.W. 900,000
Poly(ethylene oxide),approx. M.W. 100,000
Poly(ethylene oxide),approx. M.W. 300,000
Poly(ethylene glycol),Macrogol 6,000, PEG
Poly(ethylene glycol),Macrogol 1000, PEG
Poly(ethylene glycol),Macrogol 35,000, PEG
Poly(ethylene glycol),Macrogol 3,000, PEG
Poly(ethylene oxide),PEG, Poly(ethylene glycol)
Poly(ethylene glycol),Macrogol 300, PEG
Poly(ethylene glycol),Macrogol 400, PEG
Poly(ethylene glycol),Macrogol 1,500, PEG
Poly(ethylene glycol),Macrogol 4,000, PEG
Poly(ethylene glycol),Macrogol 20,000, PEG
Polyethylene glycol solution,PEG solution
Polyethylene glycol 200, synthesis grade
Polyethylene glycol 300, synthesis grade
PEG-20, synthesis grade
Polyethylene glycol 550, synthesis grade
Polyethylene glycol 600, synthesis grade
Polyethylene glycol 1500, synthesis grade
PEG-200, synthesis grade
Polyethylene glycol 6000, synthesis grade
Polyethylene glycol 8000, synthesis grade
Poly(ethylene oxide) 1g [25322-68-3]
PEG 400 5g [25322-68-3]
PEG 600 5g [25322-68-3]
PEG 1000 1g [25322-68-3]
Poly(ethylene oxide),PEO
Polyethylene Oxide (100 mg)
Polyethylene glycol, MW ≈ 6,000
Polyethylene glycol, MW ≈ 4,000
alpha,omega-Hydroxypoly(ethylene oxide)
Bradsyn PEG
Carbowax 100
Carbowax 1500
Carbowax 1540
Carbowax 20
Carbowax 200
Carbowax 2OM
Carbowax 300
Carbowax 5000
Carbowax 550
Carbowax 600


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