What is Caprylhydroxamic Acid?

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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 you can make informed choices for your family!

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

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

What it does: It’s a gentle preservative that ensures product safety and longevity. Preservatives are especially difficult to formulate because they have to be strong enough to kill bacteria, but they also can't impact the effectiveness of other ingredients. Of course, for Honest, safety is key. Most conventional preservatives are linked to things like hormone disruption and even cancer. In our Baby Shampoo + Body Wash, Conditioner, and 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!

Why we use it: 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, 1,4-dioxane, 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 non-toxic, when combined with other natural glycols in our formulations, it provides guaranteed, broad-spectrum performance against bacteria and fungi. Plus, it’s Whole Foods Premium Body Care approved, and their standards, developed by a team of scientists over the course of years, are some of the strictest available. In the world of preservatives, this little amino acid is a real winner!