synthetic esters in cosmetic products, but
not all offer the same performance and
results. Some are highly sensitive to oxidation and have a limited shelf life during
storage and in the final application. Below
are some of the criteria for selection and
how to overcome some of the challenges
associated with their use.
What’s in a Name?
Ingredients with the same INCI name do
not always represent the same aspects of
quality, stability and cosmetic usability.
For example, canola oil can represent a
variety of different chemistries, depending on where the plant is sourced and how
the oil is extracted and refined. The extract
can range from a food-grade, yellow-col-ored, strong smelling oil to a transparent,
odorless oil with excellent cosmetic benefits. See table above showing oxidation
development at 20°C between two types
of canola oil.
Made from high-quality, locally grown
rapeseed oil, using mild and efficient processes with lower greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact than
those used for synthetic emollients, Lipex
Bassol C (INCI name: Olus oil or Canola
oil) with its long-term lubricity makes
an excellent alternative to low-spreading
mineral oils. With a neutral fragrance and
transparent appearance enabling a high
concentration of the ingredient in formulations without affecting final color or
scent, some of the typical challenges associated with natural vegetable oils, such as
oxidative deterioration, unpleasant odors
and reduced sensorial quality, are immediately overcome.
When sourcing vegetable oils for cos-
metic use, always request a detailed break-
down of the composition and compare
samples and chemical analyses from at
least three variants before making a final
choice. Although specialty cosmetic grade
plant oils carry a higher price tag, they can
be more efficient in the long-term, negat-
ing the need for antioxidant stabilizers
and other additives. Not only is the raw
material itself superior but also the final
product is safer, more stable with good
sensorial properties and the functionality
expected from cosmetics, such as im-
proved skin condition and appearance.
Use of poor quality raw materials can
result in adverse effects on the skin, de-
creasing barrier functions and impacting
negatively on a healthy appearance.
Stabilizing Vegetable Oils
Adding antioxidants to the raw material
will help improve stability and shelf life.
It is more effective to add antioxidants
to the freshly refined oil than to the formulation and important to differentiate
between antioxidants added to improve
stability of the oil and those added for
For example, some of the most well
known antioxidants are tocopherols,
which comes in many forms, including
derivatives. Tocopherol acetate is commonly used in skin creams. However, it’s
important to note that it does not have
any antioxidant activity in the formulation itself. This only occurs once it is absorbed into the skin and the acetate is
gradually cleaved, releasing free tocopherol and providing skin with protection
against free radical damage. To reduce
oxidation within the formulation, it’s advised to choose antioxidants that would
be present in water and oil phases as well
as hooked on interphases.
Enhancing Sensory Appeal
Replicating the sensory characteristics of
petrochemicals when using natural vegetable oils can still represent a creative
challenge for formulators, but the sophistication of some of the refined natural oils
on the market is making this a real possibility in skin care. Whereas achieving
the same aesthetics offered by silicones
using only natural certified ingredients,
particularly in relation to hair care products, is still demanding. The addition of
modified starches and biopolymers, such
as sclerotium gum, to natural formulations can help reduce tackiness and give
a smoother, silkier skin feel, mimicking
the slip and glide achieved with synthetics. Sustainable alternatives to volatile silicones, such as plant-sourced alkanes, can
also enhance aesthetic feel.
Technology is constantly advancing,
enabling formulators to take all the benefits of natural ingredients without the
associated disadvantages such as stability, compatibility or reduced aesthetics.
Manufacturers of certified natural, sustainable ingredients are becoming increasingly creative with textures, sensory
profiles and applications. AAK has extensive experience in this field and offers
knowledge sharing and technical training
support to customers. •
Lipex Bassol C (INCI name: Olus oil or Canola oil) - Food grade canola oil (INCI name: Canola oil).
While typical food grade oil goes rancid after just six months at 20°C, Lipex Bassol C
remains stable for more than two years.