Vegan thickening agent to thicken body oil?

Hi ! I'm extremely new to formulating, I've yet to make anything but I've been doing A LOT of research. I want to make a body oil with simple ingredients, no sort of emulsifications or preservatives will be included, I might add coco-caprylate to make it less oily in feel but thats as complicated as it will get.

My problem is I want to increase the viscosity of the oil but don't know what i can use. Its way too runny. I've been told cetyl alcohol could work but im a bit weary as I want to stick to natural ingredients. Xanthan gum from what I can see is only for aqueous formulas. cera bellina, from the looks of it could work but isn't vegan

Could anyone suggest what i can use? I'll be using jojoba oil and apricot oil.

THANKS in advance


  • Any plant-based higher melting point wax or butter should thicken your oil when melted in - try shea or cocoa butter, heat & mix then cool.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Oyin - Welcome to the forum and I would like to encourage you to keep asking questions and learning as you embark on your formulating journey.

    The first thing you need to realize is that if you limit yourself to what you consider "natural" ingredients, you will have a very difficult time formulating any cosmetic product that will be worthwhile.

    Cosmetic products are not natural. Companies who say they formulate natural are exaggerating (at best) and lying (at worst).  There are no lipstick bushes or body wash trees. 

    But if you are serious about learning to formulate, and are willing to fully learn the craft, there are lots of options for thickening oils.  Read this.
  • If cetyl alcohol isn’t natural enough for you nothing else would be.
  • SpongeSponge Member
    Body wash trees haha

    Waxes are a great way to economically thicken oils, as mentioned. 

    Also, ethyl cellulose and silica dimethyl silylate are easy-to-find options. 

  • Cafe33Cafe33 Member
    Aerosil 200 (Silicon Dioxide) works extremely well for Jojoba oil. 
  • ggpetrovggpetrov Member
    edited June 2020
    It's a natural oil thickener, but also could be used as a substitute of the fatty alcohols.
  • @Sponge, silica dimethyl silylate is a great ingredient, but it doesn't thicken veg oils. It works with silicones, hydrocarbons and some esters.
  • ritagritag Member
    i had this same dilemma and a tiny percentage of candelila wax solved it for me - and its vegan:)))
  • OyinOyin Member
    Hey thank you all for your replies! Apologies for responding so late - I wasn’t able to log onto this account for a while 
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