A colorless liquid, hexylene glycol is primarily produced from the hydrogenation of diacetone alcohol. Due to its utility as a surfactant and emulsion-stabilizer, it is used in coatings, cosmetics, cleansers, hydraulic fluids, and various solvents. This utility derives primarily from its high viscosity and low volatility, and despite the fact that it is something of an irritant in higher concentrations, it is used in low concentrations of 0.1-25% in the production of skin care, soap, hair care, and eye cosmetics. The laboratory uses of hexylene glycol are also widely varied, including as a precipitant and cryoprotectant in crystallography studies. It makes an exceptional solvent in crystallography as well due to its amphiphilic nature and small, flexible structure that permits it to bind to numerous different locations on protein secondary structures such as alpha helices and beta sheets. Hexylene glycol is a stable compound, and can be stored under ordinary conditions, requiring little if any special considerations for handling or exposure.
Personal Care and Cosmetics