Dehydroacetic Acid


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Dehydroacetic Acid

Dehydroacetic acid is a synthetic preservative.

Function(s): Preservative

Other names: 2H-Pyran-2,4 (3H) -Dione, 3-Acetyl-6-Methyl-; 3-Acetyl-4-Hydroxy-6-Methyl-2H-Pyran-2-One; 3-Acetyl-6-Methyl- 2H-Pyran-2,4 (3H) -Dione; 3-Acetyl-6-Methyl-2H-Pyran-2,4 (3H) -Dione Ion (1-) ; 3-Acetyl-6-Methyl-2H-Pyran-2,4 (3H) -Dione, Ion (1-) ,; Ion (1-) , 3-Acetyl-6-Methyl-2H-Pyran-2,4 (3H) -Dione; 2H-Pyran-2-One, 3-Acetyl-4-Hydroxy-6-Methyl-; 3-Acetyl-4-Hydroxy-6-Methyl-2H-Pyran-2-One; 3-Acetyl-6-Methyl-2,4-Pyrandione; 3-Acetyl-6-Methyl-2H-Pyran-2,4 (3H) -Dione; 3-Acetyl-6-Methyl-2H-Pyran-2,4 (3H) -Dione. Enol Form

Source:  EWG

Source: EWG

Overall hazard:
Cancer concerns:
Developmental & reproductive toxicity: ○○○○○○○○○○○○ 
Allergies & immunotoxicity:
Use restrictions:


Natural or synthetic?


What Is It?

Dehydroacetic Acid and Sodium Dehydroacetate are tasteless, odorless white powders. In cosmetics and personal care products, Dehydroacetic Acid and Sodium Dehydroacetate are used in the formulation of a wide variety of products, including bath, skin care, suntan, sunscreen, fragrance, shaving, hair and nail care products, as well as eye and facial makeup.

Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

Sodium Dehydroacetate and Dehydroacetic Acid kill microorganisms and prevent their growth and reproduction, thus protecting cosmetics and personal care products from spoilage.

Follow this link for more information about how preservatives protect cosmetics and personal care products.

Safety Information: 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits Dehydroacetic Acid and Sodium Dehydroacetate to be used as a preservative for cut or peeled squash with the stipulation that no more than 65 ppm expressed as Dehydroacetic Acid remains in or on the treated squash. Dehydroacetic Acid is also included on FDA's list of indirect food additives for use in adhesives. The safety of Dehydroacetic Acid and Sodium Dehydroacetate been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Dehydroacetic Acid and Sodium Dehydroacetate were safe as cosmetic ingredients in the present practices of use and concentration. In 2003, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Dehydroacetic Acid and Sodium Dehydroacetate and reaffirmed the above conclusion.

More safety Information: 

CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel found that Sodium Dehydroacetate, Dehydroacetic Acid, and cosmetics containing these ingredients were practically nonirritating, nonsensitizing, nonphotosensitizing, and nonphototoxic in numerous clinical tests. The CIR Expert Panel noted that Sodium Dehydroacetate and Dehydroacetic Acid are effective antimicrobials at low concentrations (less than and equal to 0.6%) against both bacteria and fungi and that Dehydroacetic Acid has an optimal pH range of 2 to 4. These ingredients are more likely to act by preventing the growth of microbes, rather than killing the microbes.

FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Dehydroacetic Acid and its sodium salt

Dehydroacetic Acid (3-Acetyl-6-methylpyran-2 4[3H]-dione) and its salts, including Sodium Dehydroacetate, are listed in Annex VI, Part 1 (preservative which cosmetic products may contain) of the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union and are authorized for use at a maximum concentration of 0.6%, expressed as the acid, and are prohibited only in aerosol dispensers (sprays).

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:


DNoéma Editor