Find products and ingredients Learn how Skin Deep® works Meet our experts Discover EWG VERIFIED®

Data: Limited

Steareth 20

  • This ingredient's score is higher if used in products that may not meet industry safety guidelines or U.S. and international government requirements and may have contamination concerns from toxic impurities. The score will be lower if used in products that do meet these safety guidelines and requirements and EWG’s contamination restrictions.

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

SEARCH PRODUCTS

Other Concerns

Use restrictions (low), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (low), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (low), and Contamination concerns (high)

SYNONYMS

● PEG-20 STEARYL ETHER
● POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL 1000 STEARYL ETHER
● POLYOXYETHYLENE (20) STEARYL ETHER
● STEARETH-20

Restricted

Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation


Steareth-20 is a synthetic polymer composed of PEG (polyethylene glycol) and stearyl alcohol. Due to the presence of PEG, this ingredient may contain potentially toxic manufacturing impurities such as 1,4-dioxane.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

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

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

Expand content Collapse content
around-eye cream56 products
conditioner53 products
hair color and bleaching35 products
brow liner27 products
mascara24 products
serums & essences24 products
moisturizer23 products
mask22 products
hair treatment/serum19 products
hair styling aide16 products
antiperspirant/deodorant16 products
eye liner16 products
concealer14 products
eye shadow13 products
facial moisturizer/treatment13 products
hand cream11 products
styling gel/lotion10 products
daily use with SPF7 products
anti-aging5 products
exfoliant/scrub5 products
other eye makeup4 products
bronzer/highlighter4 products
foot moisturizer3 products
sunless tanning3 products
body firming lotion2 products
setting powder/spray2 products
makeup primer2 products
shampoo2 products
lip balm2 products
1 products
toners/astringents1 products
detangler1 products
baby oil1 products
damaged skin treatment1 products
baby lotion1 products
body wash/cleanser1 products
facial cleanser1 products
styling mousse/foam1 products

Contamination concerns

Expand content Collapse content

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of sense organ toxicityScorecard.org Toxicity Information
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Use restrictions

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualificationsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
any irritation - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedOpen scientific literature

Ecotoxicology

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data gaps

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Safety assessment was based on related chemicalCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
43 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Multiple, additive exposure sources

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Food Additive Status

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
  • ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
  • 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.
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.

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

Can’t find your product?

Enter the ingredients in EWG’s Build Your Own Report tool to get an approximate score for that product.

BUILD YOUR OWN REPORT
Skindeep Healthy Living App

EWG research
on the go

Find personal care, cleaning, and food products on the EWG Healthy Living app.

DOWNLOAD THE APP