Let me ask you a question, do you think that knowing what’s in products that you use is important? If you answered no to that question, then you’re a fool. Knowing what companies are putting in their products is super important. Even more important is understanding what they do, which is why I’m here to give you a rundown on linalool, a skin care ingredient that’s been around for quite some time now.
If you take a look at any of the products that you use, my guess is that some of them contain this ingredient. There’s no doubt about that at all. If you feel like you’re in the dark, no worries, I’ve got you covered here. I’m doing my best to share what I know about this ingredient so that you can make better buying decisions. Let ’s get this party started…
What Is Linalool?
When you read an ingredients label of a number of cosmetics products, you will without a doubt notice that many of them contain linalool. But if you are not a chemist, then you most likely haven’t got a clue what this is and what it does. Slow down hot shot, I’m here to save the day with some knowledge bombs! I’m here to tell you why linalool finds its way into beauty products and what special powers it holds.
Linalool is a naturally occurring compound in many flowering and spice plants. It is a terpene alcohol that comes in two enantiomeric (optical isomers or mirror images) forms, both of which are found in nature and are used within the cosmetics industry.
Due to the isomeric structure, they have different scents. The one has a woodsy scent and reminds me of lavender, and the other has a sweet floral scent. In nature, linalool can be found in many plants, especially in lavender, cinnamon, rosewood, cannabis, citrus, and others, even some fungi. This ingredient can be artificially produced and used in the same manner in which the naturally-occurring linalool is used. The synthetic version linalool is not as potent as the naturally occurring terpene yet still quite effective.
If you’ve ever used a scented soap (well, of course, you have), then it has certainly had linalool, as this compound is responsible for the scent in soaps, lotions, shampoos, detergents and other cosmetic products. My guess is that you likely enjoyed the smell, washed with it and carried about your day, all without understanding that this ingredient was in the product.
Linalool is also used as a chemical intermediate, meaning that it’s a precursor from which other compounds are synthesized. One such example which is derived from linalool is vitamin E. I know you love vitamin E as do we. You can thank this ingredient for that.
Linalool is in about 80% of the scented cosmetics. This means that it has some nice properties and here which I’ve outlined below. Please take the time to keep reading to find out more.
Did you know that this is one of the main ingredients in many calming essential oils? There was a study done on rats that showed linalool having anti-anxiety effects and muscle relaxation effects when used. Even if the study was not conclusive, it’s still suggestive enough that linalool can be used in the treatment of anxiety. Works for me!
There has been some (very small) evidence pointing to the anti-inflammatory properties of linalool. In a study where linalool and linalyl acetate (acetate ester of linalool) were the main ingredients tested, the results showed that these two both have big anti-inflammatory properties. I guess you’ll want to keep an eye out for this ingredient if you’re having inflammation issues.
In addition to the cosmetics industry, linalool is also used as an insecticide as it scares off and kills fleas, fruit flies, and cockroaches. It’s a pest control ingredient for codling moths larvae, also found in mosquito repelling products.
Is It Toxic?
Even though this ingredient is found in many everyday products and the FDA has it rated as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), there are some potential claims that this is an allergen. This may be due to the oxidized form of linalool as this is known for being an allergy-causing form of the ingredient.
To prevent oxidation and chances of having an allergic reaction, when you use products containing linalool, don’t buy large bars of soap or extra-large shower products and always keep the lid on the products after use.
Linalool is found in more products than you realize. In fact, many skin care products contain this and just taking a close look at some of the labels in your bathroom cabinet will prove that. It’s an ingredient that you and I come in contact every single day. The ingredient comes in two forms and both have slightly different, but calming, pleasant scents.
A final note, always do your best to buy products that contain natural ingredients, because the artificial linalool can cause allergy issues as opposed to the naturally occurring ingredient, which in fact has anti-inflammatory benefits.
If you still feel like you’re at a loss and out in left field with regards to this ingredient, then do not hesitate to reach out to any one of us here at skincare.net. You’ll be glad that you did as we have some solid unbiased answers that you’ll want to hear.