Safety Assessment of PCA (2-Pyrrolidone-5-Carboxylic Acid) and Its Salts as Used in Cosmetics

Monice M. Fiume, Wilma F. Bergfeld, Donald V. Belsito, Ronald A. Hill, Curtis D. Klaassen, Daniel C. Liebler, James G. Marks, Ronald C. Shank, Thomas J. Slaga, Paul W. Snyder, Lillian J. Gill, Bart Heldreth

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5 Scopus citations


The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel (Panel) reassessed the safety of 2-pyrrolidone-5-carboxylic acid (PCA) and sodium PCA; the Panel added 3 previously unreviewed salts (calcium, magnesium, and potassium) of PCA to this safety assessment. 2-Pyrrolidone-5-carboxylic acid and its salts are reported to function in cosmetics as skin conditioning agents—humectants. The Panel reviewed the data from the 1999 report of PCA and sodium PCA, as well as additional data included in this report, to determine the safety of these ingredients. The Panel concluded that PCA and its salts are safe in cosmetics in the present practices of use and concentration; additionally, these ingredients should not be used in cosmetic products in which N-nitroso compounds can be formed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5S-11S
JournalInternational journal of toxicology
Issue number2_suppl
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology


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