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Alkyl Glucoside

Approved Ingredients
Alkyl Glucoside

Alkyl Glucoside

Alkyl glucosides are a group of surfactants typically derived from renewable plant-based materials such as corn, coconut, or palm oils. We use these in some of our products for their excellent cleaning performance, while still being gentle on skin and the environment.

Alkyl glucosides are created through a reaction between glucose (sugar) and fatty alcohols derived from vegetable oils. The resulting alkyl glucoside molecules have a hydrophilic (water-loving) head derived from glucose and a lipophilic (oil-loving) tail derived from the fatty alcohol. In laundry detergents, alkyl glucosides act as surfactants, reducing the surface tension between water and the dirt or stains on fabrics. This allows the water to penetrate the fabric and lift away dirt, oils, and other residues.

One of the key advantages of alkyl glucosides is their biodegradability and low environmental impact. They are readily broken down by natural processes, making them a preferred choice for eco-friendly detergents. They're also known for their mildness and low toxicity, making them suitable for use in products that come into contact with the skin - though some applications may not be suitable for some people with sensitivites.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel assessed a group of alkyl glucosides in 2013 and reviewed their safety for dermal exposure in cosmetics. They concluded they are “safe in the present practices of use and concentration when formulated to be nonirritating.” This category of fatty acids is also listed by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) as being readily biodegradable, with low potential for bioaccumulation.

Other names: Hexyl D-glucoside; D-Glucopyranoside, hexyl

Chemical class: Carbohydrates

Chemical structure depicted: Hexyl D-glucoside


Alfalah, M., Loranger, C., & Sasseville, D. (2017). Alkyl Glucosides. Dermatitis : contact, atopic, occupational, drug, 28(1), 3–4.

Fiume, M. M., Heldreth, B., Bergfeld, W. F., Belsito, D. V., Hill, R. A., Klaassen, C. D., Liebler, D., Marks, J. G., Shank, R. C., Slaga, T. J., Snyder, P. W., & Andersen, F. A. (2013). Safety Assessment of Decyl Glucoside and Other Alkyl Glucosides as Used in Cosmetics. International Journal of Toxicology, 32(5_suppl), 22S-48S.

European Chemicals Agency (2023). Hexyl D-glucoside. EC number: 259-217-6 | CAS number: 54549-24-5

National Center for Biotechnology Information (2023). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 171355, Hexyl D-glucoside.

INCI Name:
C10-16 Alkyl Glucoside
Ingredient origins:
Coconut, Corn, Potato, Oil Palm, Synthetic
Common name:
Alkyl Glucoside
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.