Alcohol in oil

What is the best way to incoperate alcohol in oil? That is using alcohol to dissolve an active ingredient then incoperting it in oil

Comments

  • Incompatible.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • Surfactants?
  • Alcohol is one of the worst things that you can put on your skin. Large companies do it but it doesn’t make it appropriate.
  • edited August 13
    Alcohol is not as harmful as many believe. That is partly chemophobia. It is used in NUMEROUS products and in fact, is used at 20-25% for preservation. This is, unfortunately, misinformation that many get online from unvetted sources.

    This is from a Beauty Blogger with a skincare line who is also a Harvard Educated Dermatologist; https://www.futurederm.com/why-alcohol-in-skin-care-is-safe-despite-what-paula-begoun-says/

    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • Thank you @Microformulation. It is a very interesting article. I am absolutely against chemophobia. I think that parabens are much better than phenoxyethanol (at least much more researched), and I never buy into "natural", "silicones free" nonsense. However, alcohol is very drying and I still see one point there that is not very accurate in this article. I read a study a while ago that specifically covered using alcohol to clean wounds. It actually slows down the healing time and doctors tend to use it less now (I will try to find it, but I remember that the source was legit). I admit I like Paula Begoun and should challenge what she says more. I actually had no idea that butylene (one of my favorite ingredients) is an alcohol too. Regarding improving the delivery of actives ingredients, I was using dimethyl isosorbide for this purpose. I would appreciate your view on that.
  • I have used Dimethyl Isosorbide (DMI for short) in a few limited cases, most notably in sunless tanners. It does help to some limited extent, but you will still be having the effect in the upper layers of the skin. This is appropriate since we should NOT be trying to effect a physiological effect. When in doubt, return to the FDA definition of a Cosmetic.

    Were we able to actually get a measurable concentration in the blood, it would be a drug regardless and outside of the scope of Cosmetics.

    As for Paula Begoun, she did not always have such an informed opinion on "alcohols." About 10 years ago she was saying "All alcohols dry out the skin" without acknowledging that the fatty alcohols did not have this effect. I weighed in on her blog, she disagreed, I posted an article, someone posted another article agreeing with me. At that point, she deleted the whole conversation, booted us and then rewrote it to what she has now.

    Lastly, here is the FDA Article on volatile alcohols; https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/labeling/claims/ucm2005201.htm



    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • @Microformulation what is the formulation?
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • I didn't have a specific Formulation in mind. In the thread, a statement was made that alcohol is "one of the worst things that you can put on your skin." I was dispelling that myth.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • @Microformulation, Paula Begoun has a disclaimer about fatty alcohols on beautypedia and paulaschoice now. Probably after the conversation you mentioned.  I will need to read more about alcohol in skincare. I tried many products (actually too many) before I started formulating, and in most cases, the rule is, if it smells like alcohol (it's often the case for AmorePacific) it is drying. However, this is a consumer view, not a professional view. Thank you.
  • edited August 13
    Now, I don't use alcohol a great deal. It has very specific uses. For example, it is often the most affordable solvents for certain actives, especially in OTC products. I submit that you will be much less reticent to alcohol in products if you make one of these products.

    Your extreme caution with raw materials that you are experiencing is normal. Many people start in Formulating after learning "some" information (often filled with errors and emotional, not factual statements) and initially get into Cosmetics because "natural is the best!" As you learn and get exposed you will evolve from such a narrow perception and balance your formulations under a natural standard without losing too much performance. 

    I will give you one piece of advice when reading "research" or look at sources online. When looking at online sources ask;
    • Are they referencing credible sources? Avoid sources that make sweeping statements without supporting them with evidence. I personally ask "is this a source I would cite myself in a Master's dissertation?"
    • What are the authors credentials? This is important with online sources. I remember a frustrating instance where I had to deal with this. I had knocked a sunscreen out of the park. I was happy to see that the client approved the first sample and it passed testing with flying colors. We found a manufacturer, retained his services, raw materials were ordered and labels were printed. The job was scheduled to be done on a Tuesday. The Friday night before I get a dramatic email; "WE HAVE TO REFORMULATE!!!" I reached out and my client had found a sunscreen sold on Esty. The Etsy seller was crowing that her products were "silica free." Our pre-milled ZnO had silica. I looked at the source and in the authors, bio was "Ms. X. has a Bachelors in Communications and enjoys ballroom dancing on the weekends." The author failed under the credentials test.
    • Lastly, is the person posting the information selling products? If so, this calls their impartiality into question. It is an obvious conflict of interest.
    As you evolve and learn in this field, you will find yourself moving away from these online compromised posts and move to better sources.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • Thank you @Microformulation. I feel your pain. I am tired of explaining to my friends that dimethicone is not a "rubber" and doesn't "suffocate" skin and I read many nonsense articles where the author clearly had no idea about the subject. I am sure it's much worse when it's your client. I agree with you about the learning. I never was a big fan of "natural", but I was very careful with parabens when I started (just in case). My approach was "if chanel/dior/la prairie/la mer use phenoxyethanol they probably know what they do'. Then I realised that they make what consumers want, and consumers can't even explain why they want it, they just "heard it's bad". But I have to admit I was too reliant on Paula's opinion.
  • edited August 13
    @ngarayeva001 It is an evolution and one that needs to be made to really produce effective products. You will see me repeatedly weigh-in when someone naively uses the term "natural" as if it means something. It is a marketing term and in fact, encourages one to rely upon less than impartial sources. As a Formulator, leaving it undefined makes it a barrier to R&D and can cause you to compromise some performance. (Someone will disagree, but many natural products do compromise performance for the "crunchy" feel).

    I will either have my clients follow a "natural standard" (Perry has done some great summary posts on these) OR define it prominently in their marketing. "XYZ Cosmetics avoids the use of parabens, formaldehyde donors, {insert maligned raw materials with too much marketing bias to overcome} AND uses plant-based materials minimally processed to produce safe and effective products." (If you do mineral make-ups or sunscreens you will need to add "naturally occurring minerals minimally processed). Why minimally processed? Throw some raw Aloe plant in your lotion today and you tell me why! If you want more info on the appropriate processes, COSMOS has outstanding guidance.

    Pragmatically I know that in some markets you must follow the marketing to a limited extent and as such some great raw materials are not "marketable." In these cases, I always challenge Formulators to still look into the Science. You touched on one such case, silicones. You will hear "Silicones build-up on the hair and suffocate the hair shaft." Wow, that sounds dangerous! Keep those silicones from me! As Scientists, we know this is not true. As Formulators we know it isn't true, but when needed we will use an alternative material.



    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • I'm skeptical of the "alcohol is bad for skin" claim too.  

    For example, the best evidence suggests it is not irritating to skin. 
    https://chemistscorner.com/does-alcohol-cause-skin-irritation/
  • Thank you for the link @Perry

    @Microformulation, I agree regarding the performance of "natural" products. As per my limited experience, the more "natural" it is the worse is the application. The only way to get the luxury feel of "$300 moisturiser" is to add "synthetic" polymers (Sepinov EMT, Aristoflex, Seppiplus 400 etc.). I don't think it is possible to get the feel of "Chanel Sublimage" using conventional emulsifiers and thickeners (Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100, Cetyl alcohol etc.). The only brand (that I know) who manage produce expensive and "natural" product is Omorovicza. They don't use silicones, polymers and parabens, but they still use not so "natural" conventional emulsifiers. And the products are very liquid. Please let me know if you disagree on polymers.
  • Also, regarding alcohol, I guess people don't distinguish between "irritating" and "drying". Essential oils are not drying but some of them are irritating (or phototoxic) in a long run (correct me if I am wrong). 
  • @ngarayeva001 You are not wrong on the polymers. While 85% of my clients work under a natural standard or define a standard (if they don't I pass, an advantage of existing accounts), 15% of the time I get to do mainstream projects. Recently I did a silicone moisturizer that would outsell any "natural" product on performance alone. The polymers have great sensorials. To match them with naturally derived materials, you really have to become knowledgeable of the emulsifiers and emollients. You can get close but even so, you will always have that tiny gap.

    Essential oils can be phototoxic and have other issues. That alone is worthy of its own thread. It does show an area where novices will compromise safety inadvertently because "Essential oils are natural and safer."
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • edited August 14
    Isn't it all dose dependent? I wouldn't like 96% or even a 70% solution on my skin, but the usual % in cosmetics have never posed a problem for me anyway.
  • Oils are a bit soluble in concentrated alcohol
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02540248
    for dilute alcohol solubility becomes a matter of trial and error

    You'll need an additional solvent
    the study used n-hexane, but you can't use that in cosmetics
    Maybe Isopropyl Myristate can help increase solubility?
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