Ingredient(s) to Replace Glycerin in O/W Cream?

What ingredient(s) could function as replacement(s) for glycerin in an O/W cream?

Considering the functions of glycerin in an O/W cream, what alternatives to glycerin could provide similar performance and functionality?

Thanks!

Comments

  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited December 2018
    There are certainly loads of materials that have the same sort of activity (humectant). It is a whole class so to post a comprehensive list is not feasible.

    The big question is why? Glycerin is effective, not sticky if used at the right levels, easily obtained and universally accepted under every credible "natural standard." Could I replace my ground beef with air aged ground Kobi Beef? Yes, it would still feed me but cost significantly more.
    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Hyalauric acid attracts water from air to skin more than glycerin 100 times or more
  • 70% Sorbitol solution. I agree with Microformulation though, glycerin is cheap and considered "natural" so there is no reason to not use it unless specifically requested (I've had a few odd "no glycerin" requests but it's not the norm, even for "natural" brands)
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    There's the "No Glycols" segment of the natural community that @Spadirect might be catering to ... this includes Glycerin as one of their targets.

    Sorbitol, Sodium PCA, Betaine ... lots of options here as substitutes for glycerin.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    I have had clients request "No glycols" also. They really couldn't say why except that they kept seeing "Glycol free" online.

    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • I have no objection to glycerin (or glycols) at all.  I am aware that it performs its humectant function just fine in 100s of thousands of products.  I know it is relatively cheap and can be easily found derived from 100% bio-based feedstocks.

    I was just curious if there were any replacements that might perform the same functions with equal or better performance.  Of course, cost will always be an important consideration as well.

    If costs be damned, what are the names of some of the better performing humectants in the long list of ingredients that could function as legitimate replacements for glycerin (aside from the kindly aforementioned 70% sorbitol solution and hyaluronic acid)?

    Thanks again!
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Yes, the aforementioned Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Lactate or Sodium PCA if you want performance somewhat superior to Glycerin.  You should also take a look at Saccharide Isomerate or Betaine (an osmolyte).  Hyaluronic Acid will be the best, but also the most expensive, by quite a bit relative to the others.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    So now polyols are targeted as well? Pffff... unbelievable.

    Oh of course! Because they're used in anti-freeze!!! How can we put that on our skins!!!!  :#
  • EVchemEVchem Member
    If you're just looking for new marketing angles, we often use Pentavitin  which has Saccharide Isomerate or Prodew 600 which has natural moisturizing factor amino acids and betaine. 
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited January 2
    @Doreen, they found a new victim.

    https://helloglow.co/ingredients-to-avoid-in-makeup-and-skincare-products/ 

    Retinol causes cancer now :) I guess I will die soon.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    @ngarayeva001
    And of course parabens are in bold an extra big letters! :joy:
  • I see your simple question has turned into yet another debate.  Yrs there are several others to ANSWER your question!  The sodium lactate,  hyaluronic, Sodium Pca,  Propylene and Butylene Glycol,  Sorbitaol,  Allintoin, etc.  Researching the different  humectants will give you more of what your looking for and your reasoning for wanting something other than glycerin in your formula. So we are clear as the reasoning and NOT asuming,  is there a specific reason you want to use something other than glycerin? 
  • Pardon my spell ✅ on my phone! 
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    Keep in mind that this thread will be referred to by others in the search functions. There is no requirement that it stay on task.  The group is also building a knowledge base.


    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Sodium PCA /Sodium Lactate + polymers =>goodbye viscosity.
  • @Jdawgswife76 I am not looking specifically to eliminate glycerin from a formula.  I am just curious to learn about as many options as possible.

    Thanks to all for the suggestions!
  • one material (PURASAL MOISTXS) claim to contains Sodium Lactate+Sodium gluconate. anybody had worked with this material or have any idea?
    I want to use this in my moisturizing cream.
     
  • em88em88 Member
    Sodium PCA /Sodium Lactate + polymers =>goodbye viscosity.
    Not all polimers behave the same, but I did face that issue many times. 
  • @em88, the most robust polymers I have experience with are Sepimax Zen and Sodium Polyacrylate. They both lose viscosity even with low level of Sodim PCA. Do you know any polymer that doesn't?
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    @ngarayeva001
    I didn't have issues with PCA and Zen?
  • @Spadirect don't know if anyone has used this one, Zemea Propanediol, it allegedly has many benefits over glycerin? and can be called Natural.

    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited January 6
    There are now plant derived versions of Pentylene Glycol from Minasolve.

    Nothing can be called "natural" since it isn't a defined term.
    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • @Microformulation so if its not scheduled then you can use it all you like. Who said you cannot use it?
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • em88em88 Member
    @em88, the most robust polymers I have experience with are Sepimax Zen and Sodium Polyacrylate. They both lose viscosity even with low level of Sodim PCA. Do you know any polymer that doesn't?
    I must say, Seppic products are amazing, but expensive. 
    They use "Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer" which seems to be very stable. I'll look around if I can get my hands on that gelling agent.
    I haven't had much luck with sodium polyacrylate, still a great gelling product. 
    Cellulose based polymers have been stable when I  have used them in the past. 

    As per this thread, d-panthenol is an other alternative not mentioned here. 
  • @em88
    https://www.makingcosmetics.com/GelMaker-EMU_p_119.html
    INCI Name: Sodium acrylate / sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, isohexadecane, polysorbate 80
    It is very easy to use and good emulsifier. Great texture. It is as electrolytes resistant as sodium polyacrylate though. I still think it's a good product.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    @Microformulation so if its not scheduled then you can use it all you like. Who said you cannot use it?
    You can use it. I just think that "natural" is a horrible metric to go on. It has no definition. It allows anything to be fairly called "natural." It is a term that MUST be refined to effectively engage in any real Cosmetic R&D in a naturally compliant market.

    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Yes and do think this will ever happen?? 
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited January 8
    Yes and do think this will ever happen?? 
    Yes. In our first call with our clients, we address the term "natural" and we get the client to agree upon a rough, internally defined standard. It is not difficult and in fact, our successful lines (>1 million USD per annum) run with the new definition and will educate their clients in their marketing.

    This approach is allowing my clients to promote their lines credibly and successfully. They integrate it into their marketing. The LOHAS clients love a defined standard. They are killing it in the "naturally compliant" markets and in fact, they have a STRONG presence in Detox Market. I will simply say that the success of this approach is proven by the results.

    It is an absolute error to leave this undefined for both parties. For the Formulator, it will save you multiple calls from the client where you must walk them through the pedigree of each raw material as they will adjudicate the raw material selection based on an undefined standard that can change day-to-day. It wastes time, creates unnecessary revisions and is contrary to the goals of the Formulator. For the client, leaving it undefined is a mistake. Remember this one fact; these emerging clients are entering into markets where everybody is "natural." It is not the golden bullet anymore that people think it is. The focus of their line should highlight the "WHY" behind their lines and products. Saying "You should buy my products because they are natural" does not tell me why I should buy them since everyone else is "natural" also. Again, you are creating barriers to success for both the Formulator and the client when you blithely use this term without recognizing it's lack of any real definition. Lastly, do we want to be Marketers (natural is best) or Scientists? I want to practice Cosmetic SCIENCE.

    If I had anyone issue with the naturally compliant market (compliant to an internal standard or a third party certifier) it is that while they third party standards are well-defined, they are poorly promoted to the Cosmetic Markets themselves. For example, it is difficult to press a client into producing an NSF Certified products UNLESS the buyer requires it. Otherwise, NSF means very little to the average consumer.

    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    I address this issue by always formulating to a defined natural standard or standard(s) using ingredients that are certified by either NOP, NPA, ECOCert or NSF.

    But, I generally also advise clients that actually getting their products certified by one of these bodies is not really worth the time, effort & expense relative to the marketing benefit ... to most consumers, unless it is an NOP Organic certification, the other certifications are relatively meaningless.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    @MarkBroussard We will follow the raw material standards based upon the Third Party Standards as well. It does take educating the client and not using "natural" as a standard. Most clients are happy to define the term. I dislike the term "natural" as it is imprecise and a barrier to Product Development.

    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Isn't it mainly about the processing of the materials, not so much mechanical but the catalysts for example?
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited January 9
    We could discuss that issues for hours. I would say that if you want a guide for the approved processing (plant-based materials minimally processed), you should read the COSMOS standard. They do a great job of explaining the allowable processes. Again, if we mumble "natural" and fell we have established a defined guideline, we are not furthering good Science.


    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • I have all the guidelines, just extending on the conversation. I quite enjoy the response when anyone says 'natural' on this site!
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    Sorry, it is my trigger word...
    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
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