What is Isopropyl Myristate and how is it used ?

What is Isopropyl Myristate trihydrate

Natural vegetable based ester

Isopropyl myristate, also commonly known as IPM is a clear, light yellow liquid which oily in appearance and vitually odourless. It is soluble in most solvents but considered insoluble in water. IPM is manufactured by the esterification of isopropyl alcohol with myristic acid. Isopropyl myristate is primarily used in cosmetic and topical medicinal preparations because it has good skin absorption qualities and it is a good emollient and moisturiser.

Poperties & specification:

  • Cas No: 110–27–0
  • EINECS No: 203–751–4
  • Molecular formula: CH3(CH2)12COOC­H(CH3)2
  • Appearance: Light yellow oily liquid
  • Other names: Tetradecanoic acid, 1-methylethyl ester; Myristic acid isopropyl ester: IPM; propan-2-yl tetradecanoate; Estergel;
  • Purity: 98% minimum
  • Molecular weight: 270.46
  • Acid value: 0.5 max
  • Specific gravity: 0.85
  • Melting Point: 3–5 oC
  • Boiling Point: 167 oC
  • Flash Point: 152 oC
  • Heavy metal: 0.0005% max
  • Insoluble in: Water.
  • Soluble in: Most organic solvents
  • Refractive index: 1.44
  • Vapour pressure: 9.35X10–5 mm Hg at 25 C

Soluble in castor oil, cottonseed oil, acetone, benzene, ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol, toluene, and mineral oil; Dissolves many waxes, cholesterol, lanolin. It is practically insoluble in glycerol and propylene glycol.

Where to Buy IPM / Isopropyl Myristate online UK


Isopropyl myristate is an effective agent for solubilizing lanolin; mixtures of up to about 50% lanolin in isopropyl myristate remain stable, free-flowing liquid at room temperature. Therefore, isopropyl myristate is used as a solubilizing, spreading, and penetrating agent in anhydrous skin lubricating lotions with high lanolin content. Isopropyl myristate leaves the skin soft and smooth without an oily surface film.

Key ingredient in Perfumers alcohol, skin care cosmetics, antiperspirants, deodorants, make-up and bath preparations, hair creams, lotions, as plasticizer in hair spray and lacquers.

Isopropyl myristate is used in topical medicinal preparations where good absorption through the skin is desired.

IPM is used in many mouthwash products because of its ability to control oral bacteria.

PLEASE NOTE: it is recommended that those suffering from acne problems or sensitive skin should refrain from using IPM or products containing IPM as it can aggrevate the problem. Also it should not be used on children below the age of 4 years.

Other industrial uses include as a plasticizer and textile additive

Treatment of head lice with isopropyl myristate

IPM is used as a pesticide-free treatment against head lice which works by dissolving the wax that covers the exoskeleton of head lice, killing them by dehydration. It is considered safe to use on humans over the age of 4. Isopropyl myristate does not contain traditional insecticides and is not considered poisonous to nerves and nerve cells. The recommended dose of isopropyl myristate is two applications to the scalp and nape of the neck seven days apart, which is identical to the dosing regimen of existing products. For more information on this subject click here

Health & safety

Not a hazardous substance or mixture according to Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008. This substance is not classified as dangerous according to Directive 67/548/EEC.

For more information see MSDS for isopropyl myristate


Where to Buy IPM / Isopropyl Myristate online UK



About mistralhowto

formulation chemist

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