What is Caprylhydroxamic Acid?

What is Caprylhydroxamic Acid?

This is part of our ongoing series helping consumers better understand chemicals, chemistry, and product formulations. We translate the science, bust the myths, and give you an honest assessment so that you can make informed choices for your family!

Ingredient: Caprylhydroxamic Acid (also listed sometimes as Caprylohydroxamic Acid or Octanohydroxamic Acid)

In this article, we will be covering the basics of a common preservative that is often found in cosmetic and skin care products. Caprylhydroxamic acid, a popular cosmetic ingredient, is a chemical that is used to inhibit mold and microbial growth in skin care products. To learn more about this cosmetic ingredient, read on. 

What Is Caprylhydroxamic Acid? 

Caprylhydroxamic acid is an amino acid (organic compounds that are essential building blocks of life) derived from coconut oil.

What Does Caprylhydroxamic Acid Do?

 It's a gentle preservative that helps ensure product safety and longevity. Preservatives are especially difficult to formulate because they have to be strong enough to kill bacteria and microbial growth, but they also can't impact the effectiveness of other ingredients. Of course, for Honest, safety is key. Many conventional preservatives have been linked to things like hormone disruption and in some studies, even cancer. In our Baby Shampoo + Body Wash, Conditioner, and Body Lotion, we use caprylhydroxamic acid in combination with caprylyl glycol and glycerin to provide gentle, broad spectrum antimicrobial preservation. It also adds to the moisturizing benefits of the products! Unlike parabens and harsh chemicals, caprylhydroxamic acid is safe for daily use and won’t irritate sensitive skin at levels used on Honest products.

Why Do We Use Caprylhydroxamic Acid?

Liquid body care products are a natural breeding ground for bacteria (especially when they're made from natural plant oils like Honest's), so including an effective preservative is imperative for product safety. Most manufacturers turn to cheap and toxic alternatives like parabens, Benzalkonium chloride (BZK) and other formaldehyde releasers - not us! We chose to invest in your family's health by opting for the more expensive preservative, caprylhydroxamic acid. Not only is it plant-based and has a safer profile, when combined with other natural glycols in our formulations, it provides guaranteed, broad-spectrum performance against bacteria and fungi. In the world of preservatives, this little amino acid is a real winner!

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.

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