Does Mineral Oil diminish cooling effects?

I've been messing around with a formula for a CBD cooling massage oil. Originally it was a CBD Balm with a base of soybean oil and thickened with a couple waxes.

I changed the base to mineral oil and removed the waxes for a lighter skin feel to use it as a massage oil in a pump or spray. I can't share the full formula as it's company property but the ingredient list is minimal as this was for personal use so I didn't need to add any claim ingredients, only functional ones. 

I can share the percentages of active ingredients though:
Camphor 4%
Menthol 10%
CBD Isolate 1%

The balm I made has the same amount of active ingredients but has a noticeable cooling effect once applied. I tried adding 1% Frescolat MGA to see if it would change anything and there was no obvious change. No cooling effect at all. The only change I made between the two formulas was removing soybean and waxes and replacing them with the same % of mineral oil. 

Does anyone know the reason for this? Or has anyone else encountered something similar?
Lab Assistant to a Cosmetic Formulator.

Comments

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    I suspect any cooling effect Frescolat MGA has will be drowned out by the 10% of menthol you have in there
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • @Bill_Toge
    I think I have been a bit unclear but I added the frescolat MGA to the mineral oil batch after I realized there was no cooling effect from the menthol. 

    Shouldn't having 10% menthol give some type of cooling effect on its own? The lack of any cooling with or without the Frescolat is what's puzzling me. There is no tingling or stimulating sensation either, it's like I just put only mineral oil on my skin.
    Lab Assistant to a Cosmetic Formulator.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    oh, I see!
    in that case, it's most likely because your menthol and Frescolat MGA are less soluble in mineral oil than they are in vegetable oils, esters or alcohol; hydrocarbons like mineral oil are generally poor solvents
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • I would agree but the camphor and menthol both fully dissolved without any heating. The final product is clear and colorless so it would be easy for me to see any solids floating about. I'm pretty sure the Frescolat MGA also dissolved since I don't see any separate layer on the surface or bottom, but since it's a clear liquid in a clear liquid I could be mistaken about that.
    Lab Assistant to a Cosmetic Formulator.
  • Shabbat shalom,
    I can now share the formula as I got some permission.


    83.4% Mineral Oil
    10% Menthol
    4% Camphor
    0.1% Butylated Hydroxytoluene 
    1% CBD Isolate
    1.5% Tea Tree Oil

    Mineral Oil is added into the main beaker followed by the rest of the ingredients at room temperature (22C) while mixing, one at a time after the previous ingredient has dissolved. The product is clear and colorless with no floating solids.


    The anticipated result is a cooling effect and increased circulation. The perceived result is of a light oil without a cooling any cooling effect. Once this was noticed I added 1% Frescolat MGA to the batch and did not notice any change in the cooling.

    I was basing this off a previous formula where the 83% of mineral oil was instead a mixture of soybean oil, beeswax, ozokerite wax, coconut oil, and shea butter. The previous formula had the consistency of a balm and had a noticeable cooling effect. The goal of the new formula was to bring that effect to the consistency of a light massage oil.


    Does anyone have an idea as to why this is not working?

    Thank you for your time
    Lab Assistant to a Cosmetic Formulator.
  • Have you tried to dissolve menthol in a polar oil, e.g. caprylic/capric triglyceride?
  • SquinnySquinny Member
    If it is meant to be a cooling massage oil why dont you use Peppermint Essential Oil rather than Tea Tree Oil (or a combo of Tea Tree with Peppermint to your usage rate of 1.5%). I find Peppermint Essential Oil has a definite cooling effect and smells better than Tea Tree too. Just a suggestion but make a small amount and see?
  • Pb610Pb610 Member
    I just purchased some menthol and noticed a similar lack of cooling, even after rubbing the raw powder onto my skin with 70% isopropyl alcohol, it was about as intense as using undiluted peppermint oil. I did notice it dries out pretty fast, probably using a solvent/humectant like propylene glycol would help deliver it into the skin better, thus a more direct/sustained cooling. Mineral oil, especially at an 80% concentration, would probably block a lot of your active ingredients from working into the skin, though I'm not certain.

    I'm still new to a lot of this, just wanted to mention my experience with menthol.
  • ketchitoketchito Member
    @Adamnfineman I believe you need a more polar media for menthol to exert its cooling action. For instance, water base shampoos that use as little as 0.05% of Menthol, already show a perceivable effect on scalp.
  • Have you tried to dissolve menthol in a polar oil, e.g. caprylic/capric triglyceride?
    ketchito said:
    @Adamnfineman I believe you need a more polar media for menthol to exert its cooling action. For instance, water base shampoos that use as little as 0.05% of Menthol, already show a perceivable effect on scalp.
    @grapefruit22 @ketchito
    Would the mixture of soybean oil, beeswax, ozokerite wax, coconut oil, and shea butter I used un the previous batch be considered a polar enough media?


    Squinny said:
    If it is meant to be a cooling massage oil why don't you use Peppermint Essential Oil rather than Tea Tree Oil (or a combo of Tea Tree with Peppermint to your usage rate of 1.5%). I find Peppermint Essential Oil has a definite cooling effect and smells better than Tea Tree too. Just a suggestion but make a small amount and see?
    @Squinny
    It was meant to be an anti-inflammatory massage oil to aid in pain relief. The tea tree oil was in there to boost the anti-inflammatory effect because I though I'd have enough cooling from the menthol.

    Pb610 said:
    Mineral oil, especially at an 80% concentration, would probably block a lot of your active ingredients from working into the skin, though I'm not certain.
    @Pb610  
    Do you have any literature about why this happens? or a list of other oils with this effect?

    Thank you for your replies
    Lab Assistant to a Cosmetic Formulator.
  • Pb610Pb610 Member
    From what I understand mineral oil is an occlusive, which means it forms a barrier on the skin, rather than soaking into it. So probably only a small fraction of your active ingredients are pressing against the skin, while the rest are encapsulated by or resting on top of the oil. That's a total guess on my part though, I could easily be wrong.

    What I can say is that I made a simple 1:1:1 mix of 70% isopropyl alcohol, menthol, and glycerin, and the glycerin definitely helped provide a sustained cooling effect. It wasn't immediately noticable, and took about a half hour to really come on strong, and lasts for several hours afterwards. That formulas a bit dry though, I should've diluted the isopropyl alcohol down to like 30% alcohol 70% water. But the glycerin really made a difference.
  • ketchitoketchito Member
    Have you tried to dissolve menthol in a polar oil, e.g. caprylic/capric triglyceride?
    ketchito said:
    @Adamnfineman I believe you need a more polar media for menthol to exert its cooling action. For instance, water base shampoos that use as little as 0.05% of Menthol, already show a perceivable effect on scalp.
    @grapefruit22 @ketchito
    Would the mixture of soybean oil, beeswax, ozokerite wax, coconut oil, and shea butter I used un the previous batch be considered a polar enough media?


    Squinny said:
    If it is meant to be a cooling massage oil why don't you use Peppermint Essential Oil rather than Tea Tree Oil (or a combo of Tea Tree with Peppermint to your usage rate of 1.5%). I find Peppermint Essential Oil has a definite cooling effect and smells better than Tea Tree too. Just a suggestion but make a small amount and see?
    @Squinny
    It was meant to be an anti-inflammatory massage oil to aid in pain relief. The tea tree oil was in there to boost the anti-inflammatory effect because I though I'd have enough cooling from the menthol.

    Pb610 said:
    Mineral oil, especially at an 80% concentration, would probably block a lot of your active ingredients from working into the skin, though I'm not certain.
    @Pb610  
    Do you have any literature about why this happens? or a list of other oils with this effect?

    Thank you for your replies
    Unfortunately, the polarity of the ingredients you mentioned are way far from that of water. As someone suggested later in this thread, small glycols like glycerin or PPG should also work.
  • Have you tried to dissolve menthol in a polar oil, e.g. caprylic/capric triglyceride?
    I haven't but I can make a batch of that soon and update on the results. I can only mess around with batches during my downtime at work and we've been swamped for the past week so I haven't had a chance to try anything new.
    Squinny said:
    If it is meant to be a cooling massage oil why don't you use Peppermint Essential Oil rather than Tea Tree Oil (or a combo of Tea Tree with Peppermint to your usage rate of 1.5%)
    The product was meant to have a cooling effect but not as the main function it would've been marketed as an anti-inflammatory muscle pain relief. I included tea tree oil because it was in the previous formula due to its analgesic properties. I could make a blend with peppermint oil but I didn't think it needed it because I assumed the menthol provide more than enough cooling.
    Pb610 said:
    From what I understand mineral oil is an occlusive, which means it forms a barrier on the skin, rather than soaking into it. So probably only a small fraction of your active ingredients are pressing against the skin, while the rest are encapsulated by or resting on top of the oil.
    So based on this I would have to replace the mineral oil with a non-occlusive oil that can soak into the skin and allow the active ingredients to make contact? Do you know which oil would work for this?

    ketchito said:
    Unfortunately, the polarity of the ingredients you mentioned are way far from that of water. As someone suggested later in this thread, small glycols like glycerin or PPG should also work.
    I was thinking of scrapping the whole idea of an oil based product and making a standard o/w lotion instead. I know that would definitely have a cooling effect but I hate to give up on something once I set my mind to it. 

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply. May you have long days and pleasant nights. 




    Lab Assistant to a Cosmetic Formulator.
  • PattsiPattsi Member
    Had similar problem wanting to reduce cost by switching to mineral oil, the cooling lasted only few seconds (menthol at 1%), now switched back to veggie oil.
    o/w cream was formulated and the cooling effect was better than oil based but it wasn't perceived well by tested consumer group so it wasn't put on sale. 
Sign In or Register to comment.