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Data: Limited

Retinyl Propionate

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

SEARCH PRODUCTS

Other Concerns

Use restrictions (high), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (low), and Biochemical or cellular level changes (high)

SYNONYMS

PROPANOATE RETINOL, PROPIONIC ACID, RETINOL ESTER, RETINOL ESTER PROPIONIC ACID, RETINOL, PROPANOATE, RETINYL PROPIONATE, and VITAMIN A PROPIONATE

Unacceptable

Unacceptable: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient


Retinol is a synthetic vitamin A ingredient. Cosmetics with synthetic retinoids can contribute to overdoses of this potent vitamin. Furthermore when exposed to UV light, retinol compounds break down and produce toxic free radicals. Two vitamin A ingredients (retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate) have been shown to speed the development of skin tumors and lesions on sun-exposed skin.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • MODERATE
    Cancer
  • LOW
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • HIGH
    Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity
  • HIGH
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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facial moisturizer/treatment11 products
serums & essences5 products
around-eye cream3 products
body wash/cleanser3 products
anti-aging2 products
mask1 products
conditioner1 products
1 products
facial cleanser1 products
toners/astringents1 products

Biochemical or cellular level changes

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Produces excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease.Open scientific literature

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Known human reproductive toxicantOpen scientific literature
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicityOpen scientific literature
One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at low dosesOpen scientific literature

Enhanced skin absorption

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Absorbs into the skinOpen scientific literature

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmeticsOpen scientific literature
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
One or more animal studies show tumor formation at very low dosesOpen scientific literature
Cancer - limited evidenceOpen scientific literature
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation resultsOpen scientific literature
One or more in vitro tests non-mammalian cells show positive mutation resultsOpen scientific literature

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of skin toxicityOpen scientific literature
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Uncertain environmental toxin and uncertain persistent or bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - Maximum reported "as used" concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR) - implicit safe concentration limit in productCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
10 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Informational

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - anyCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.

Understanding scores

Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.

Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.

HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES

Hazard score

The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED™ mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.

Score legend

Data availability

The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.

NONE LIMITED FAIR GOOD ROBUST
Low Availability
Moderate Availability
High Availability

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