Looking for dry & non-greasy emollient - any recommendations?

Hi,

I'm looking for an emollient for a face cream that is non-greasy and absorbs quickly. So far, the best I've found is Heptyl Undecylenate. Unfortunately, I can't stand its odor. I also tried C13-15 Alkane and it was pretty good, but it was too light and absorbed too quickly, in fact it disappeared while applying the cream. I've tried mixing it with squalane or some other more greasy emollients, but the result was not good.

I also tried:
- Triheptanoin (too greasy), 
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (too greasy),
- Isoamyl Laurate,
- Cetiol Ultimate (bad odor, too light), 
- Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate (and) Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables (too greasy).

I know that the above emollients are not considered greasy, so to be precise, my point is that they absorb too slowly, or add shine, or just sit on the face. My goal is for the cream to be absorbed within 1-2 minutes and be almost imperceptible afterwards.

Comments

  • PaprikPaprik Member
    Dimethicone - low cps. 
    Decyl Oleate
    Coco caprylate
    Grapeseed oil perhaps? 
    Rosehip oil perhaps? 

    The problem is, the lighter the emollient, the less emolliency. 
    That is why it is important to mix more lipids in a product to achieve the perfect balance. 
  • ggpetrovggpetrov Member
    Paprik said:
    Dimethicone - low cps. 
    Decyl Oleate
    Coco caprylate
    Grapeseed oil perhaps? 
    Rosehip oil perhaps? 

    The problem is, the lighter the emollient, the less emolliency. 
    That is why it is important to mix more lipids in a product to achieve the perfect balance. 
    I don't think Decyl oleate can be considered as light.
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    I am sorry, but I must disagree. It is considered relative dry emollient. I have it and it feels pretty light to me. 

    Here is what I found on Prospector - 
    It can be characterized as a relatively dry ester with a slight characteristic oleyl odor. It is useful in creams and lotions to reduce tack or as a vehicle to incorporate heavy oils into a formulation.
  • jemolianjemolian Member
    Dicaprylyl Carbonate ?
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    Isopropyl myristate
  • Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Isostearyl Isostearate, and Isonoyl Isononanoate were all good....

    But I ended up back with Isoamyl laurate.

    I discovered it is not the individual ingredient that matters most...but far more importantly is the group performance.  I will write out my thoughts...and post shortly.  I will try to gather coherent thoughts on cascading emollience, and how a combination of varying absorption rates will feel like it absorbs the best.

    Aloha.
  • I have had the luxury of a number of amazing people spending enormous amounts of time to teach me some of the finer points of texture and even the perception of absorption.  One of my earliest lessons was how to create the depth of sensories via cascading emollience.  I would compare it to a 3D experience vs a 2D experience.  If you use a single emollient...even the 'perfect'  one, you will get that 2D experience, and will not achieve the more satisfying sensory experience that one can accomplish with cascading emollience, that gives that little....ahhhh...or Eureka moment of an emulsion that finally got you to the next level.

    I collected virtually every dry/light emollient I could get my hands on....but could not formulate them into my dreams.  However as I finally absorbed the mentoring bestowed on me, I learned to take emollients that did not seem as dreamy 'neat' and combine them into a sensory waterfall.  So I typically combine things like isoamyl laurate, IPM, lauryl laurate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, D5 and waxy ester types like cetyl palmitate and myristyl myristate. 

    Even the last two ingredients...I found if I split them, vs using twice as much of either one...I got a MUCH better absorbing result.

    In my mind, to create that dry and emollient feel...it had to be some with the driest and lightest ingredients.  It was very difficult for me to understand that a group of emollients...absorbing at different rates...actually gave a more unique and pleasurable experience.  So with rather common emollients I have learned to surround them with teammates that brought out the best of them.  

    Some of these ingredients can feel oily neat, and even make your skin shine.  I found it far easier to create a logical emollient waterfall, and then fix the shine and fine tune it with things like using behenyl alcohol instead of those that might start with 'C'.  Myristyl Myristate is just an absolute 'must' for making things work for me.  Another finishing ingredient....that takes things to a level...that is almost breathtaking...is distarch phosphate.  I worked through a list of powders that can fill a room, during my deodorant project...and absolutely made a breakthrough when I came upon this Agrana product.  Another technique that I have recently mastered...is taking a porous, very fine silica, preloading it with D5, and putting this in post emulsion.  The silica is saturated with D5 in the emulsion...so does not take up other lipids.  Once it hits the skin, the D5 goes poof.....and you have very thirsty silica...looking to absorb a new host.  WOW...Eureka.

    So in summary....at least for me...on my journey....it is not as much about finding that Eureka emollient....that would make dreams come true...but surrounding it with a cast of characters that could deliver the dream.  The perception of rapid absorption can be created with a cast of characters that do not all absorb at the speed of light.  The nuances you can create with distarch phosphate, certain silicas...can far outperform that 'Holy Grail' emollient you think you have not found yet.

    Aloha.

  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    @Graillotion Poetic! Couldn't have explained it better :wink: .
    My go-to fulcrum for such cascades is also isoamyl laurate. Coco caprylate is nearly as nice but a tad richer (I sometimes use it as IL surrogate when expiration date happens) and I'm starting to appreciate myristyl myristate more every time I'm using it.
    Cetiole Ultimate (= C11 and 13 alkane) feels absolutely terrible when used neat, like benzine (C13-15 alkanes, isododecane and other volatile hydrocarbons are likely quite similar). In a blend however...
    I admit, I never worked with C12-15 benzoate and am wait for a malate ester and an alkyl lactate to arrive. They might be worth trying (however, they are quite 'synthetic'). Maybe someone else can chime in?
    Regarding non-naturals: D5 feels really nice in blends but, like other silicones, PEG derivatives, and other 'chemicals', is against my philosophy. I'm an agnostic scientist, so, yea, I obviously have those in stock and paly with them, one simply can't replace silicones and PEGs with 'naturals'. Self-mutilate and then trying to beat the odds... that kick when you succeed, if you succeed... I only advice advanced formulators to try that out. So, if you don't limit yourself to things like 'from renewable feedstock' like I do more often than reasonable and get stuck halfway to your dream of perfection, then you should try some silicones and powders (another ingredient family I'm not focussing on but would were I to produce for a living).
  • edited June 26

    @Graillotion: Beautiful!  That's just it. Thank you for sharing the fruits of your holy grail quest.

    I'm also obsessed with texture. I create many many many versions of an emulsion to get the skin feel just right. The emulsifier also  plays a big role, and the gum (s). It's a whole symphony.

    I find that Brassica Alcohol gives a lovely texture in combination with a cast of emollients with different absorption rates. 

    I learned about cascading emollients from SwiftCraftyMonkey (Susan Barclay Nichols)'s cosmetic blog. She has a whole 8-part series on this. Well worth the very modest monthly membership fee. I highly recommend her blog.  https://www.swiftcraftymonkey.blog/


    As for distarch phosphate, yes, lovely feel. Skinchakra has several formulations using this ingredient (on her old blog:  Swetti's Beauty Blog           https://skinchakra.eu/blog/

    Anyway, here is a helpful chart that illustrates this concept. 



  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited June 26

    @Graillotion: Beautiful!  That's just it. Thank you for sharing the fruits of your holy grail quest.

    I'm also obsessed with texture. I create many many many versions of an emulsion to get the skin feel just right. The emulsifier also  plays a big role, and the gum (s). It's a whole symphony.

    I find that Brassica Alcohol gives a lovely texture in combination with a cast of emollients with different absorption rates. 

    I learned about cascading emollients from SwiftCraftyMonkey (Susan Barclay Nichols)'s cosmetic blog. She has a whole 8-part series on this. Well worth the very modest monthly membership fee. I highly recommend her blog.  https://www.swiftcraftymonkey.blog/


    As for distarch phosphate, yes, lovely feel. Skinchakra has several formulations using this ingredient (on her old blog:  Swetti's Beauty Blog           https://skinchakra.eu/blog/

    Anyway, here is a helpful chart that illustrates this concept. 



    Hehe.... If I could get things where I like them in 30 iterations...I would feel like I did not do my due diligence... :) 

    Where do you purchase brassica alcohol in the US?  I have had it as part of some other things...but never by itself.

    Aloha.
  • edited June 26
    @Graillotion Yup, 30-40-50  iterations...

    I have only bought Brassica from Europe.

    Initially from 

    https://shop.skinchakra.eu/en/Cosmetic-Lab/Cosmetic-ingredients-A-Z (that's also where I first got distarch phosphate), but she will no longer carry it b/c it's not going to be palm-free anymore.

    I got my last palm-free Brassica from Bayhouse Aromatics (UK).   

    https://www.bayhousearomatics.com/brassica-alcohol-natural-palm-free.html

    Getting stuff from Europe has some hefty shipping fees, so I usually order a bunch of different stuff, or I split the shipment w/ another formulator friend  in town. 

    Both Aminosensyl and Emulsense emulsifiers contain it and I like them both.
  • It’s a matter of taste. You can try octyldodecanol or coco caprylate. As graillotion mentioned it’s better to combine emollients. D5 is an absolute winner for me if I am making something lightweight. I usually mix it with something like alkyl benzoate or IPM. 
    Grapeseed oil is light but it’s shelf life is too short.
  • Thank you all for so many recommendations. I have access to Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Coco Caprylate, I'll start with this. I will also try Isoamyl Laurate again, I used it a long time ago and I don't remember why I resigned from it  ;)
    Do you have a problem with odor of Isoamyl Laurate? I saw in the brochure that the odor may change over time, I have had a sample for about a year and the odor is actually quite noticeable now.
    @Anca_Formulator I didn't know that's why they stopped selling it. Companies that used it in palm free products have a problem again.
    @Graillotion I recently came across cascading emollience in this article: https://www.cosmeticsdesign-asia.com/Product-innovations/EMOSMART-EMOGREEN-the-future-of-emollients-is-here
    Do you know any easily available product where this technique is used? I have been using gel moisturizers mostly and they all actually use only one emollient. It's probably a matter of habit and personal preference, but I'd love to try something with a blend of emollients to see what I'm missing.

  • I have never noticed a smell on IL, even at 100% neat.

    Make sure you are using the 100% IL.  Early on, I got a sample of 90% IL, and something else...and that was just god-awful.  (Forget the name.)
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