How can I get Betaine?

I can't find any "cosmetic" Betaine. Can I use the powder that's sold as a supplement? Am I missing something?

Thank you.  


  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    BulkSupplements is fine, I also order there :wink: .
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    What do you want the Betaine to do in your formula?
    Supplements are unregulated so you don't really know what you are buying.
  • Aren't cosmetic ingredients unregulated, as  well? Or, under-regulated? I want to try it for hydration. Along with xylitol. And I have the same question regarding xylitol as well (where can I get it? I have some that I use for artificial sweetener. Can I just use that?)

    Actually some supplement companies have third party testing done on all of their products.

    Pharma, how much do you use in your formulations?

    I already use Glycerin and Propanediol in everything but I want to diversify. 
  • Have not tried it myself but I like this supplier. Use google chrome translate function. They ship internationally
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited August 11
    Cosmetics are not unregulated. It is illegal to sell unsafe cosmetics.  You have to follow GMP and the FDA is empowered to inspect your facilities and check all your paperwork.

    When the DSHEA act was passed in 1994, Congress essentially took away any power that the FDA had for regulating the supplement industry. Now, there is no good reason to have faith that the supplement industry is even selling you the ingredient you think you are buying. Unless you bring a lawsuit against them, they could sell you powdered sugar and call it betaine. There's a lot of money to be made in the supplement industry since it's pretty much unregulated. And people sell practically anything.
  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    edited August 11
    Have not tried it myself but I like this supplier. Use google chrome translate function. They ship internationally
    Thank you so much! So you've used the Betaine? It dissolves readily?
  • Yes, betaine is very easy to work with. Dissolves in cold water. I used it but it is not my favorite humectant because there’s nothing special about it. I prefer sodium lactate, it’s more hygroscopic than glycerin (smells a bit weird though). My second favorite is butylene glycol (non tacky and a preservative booster), and third is glycerin probably. It really depends on the product I am making. I guess if I could only have one humectant it would be glycerin.
  • By the way it’s not true that cosmetic ingredients aren’t regulated. If INCI says 99% triethanolamine you know for sure it’s exactly that (provided you are buying from a reliable supplier). Food supplements don’t have an equivalent of INCI, they can put whatever bulking or anticaking ingredient there and you wouldn’t know. Good suppliers provide SDS that gives a lot of important details.
  • Thank you!! I absolutely love Sodium Lactate but I can't use it with certain things (namely Aristoflex, because it doesn't work with electrolytes/salts.)

    I also purchased some Sorbitol so we will see how that goes. 

    Besides Sodium Lactate I'm a fan of Propanediol and Glycerin 🙂🙂

    I'm on a big humectant kick right now.

    How much of the Betaine do you use?

  • Betaine is ‘aristoflex safe’. I never use it alone, usually mixing with other humectants. 1-2%
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Xylitol and sorbitol are quite similar, just swap one with the other 1:1 as a starting point.
  • You might want to explore urea. It’s a great humectant but a pain to work with. It requires a ph buffer in o/w. It’s easier with w/o but making a stable w/o is a problem on its own. Another interesting thing about it is that it’s a humectant at lower % but has keratolytic properties above 10%  
  • I always mix humectants as well 🙂 Usually 3 in each formulation. What about trehalose? Has anyone used it?
  • Hey Ngarayeva :) I didn't know that you make a purchases from "Theformulary" I always thought that this site is a kinda fake. There are some interesting things there, and also the prices are reasonable.

  • @ggpetrov, it’s not fake, I ordered from them before but they don’t provide any customer support and refuse to share manufacturing dates. They have three interesting ingredients in my opinion, betaine, Cithrol 10GTIS (croda’s) and Propanediol ester. Since I found the first two from much more reliable supplier (glamourcosmetics) I don’t bother with formulary. Italian suppliers are amazing. They are not obsessed with being ‘natural’ and have ingredients that aren’t sold by DIY suppliers elsewhere: BHA, anti dandruff actives, aluminum chlorohydrate, water in silicone emulsifiyers, and many other cool things. Also they were delivering to London within a week in the middle of the lockdown. I recently discovered another one in Italy: page=shop.browse&category_id=6&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=54&vmcchk=1&Itemid=65

    the search function is non existent but they have gems. I bought BHT, BHA, and Na2 EDTA from them last month. 
  • I normally use Trehalose in part of my additives but there's doesn't provide much texture nor is it really hydrating. I feel that there's not enough data for me to recommend it if you already use Betaine. However, Trehalose would be useful for stability for some ingredients, probably liposomes or proteins.
  • Not sure what country you live in... 
    But this is the only small scale supplier I have found in the US.
    I use betaine, along with others...and it is very easy to work with.

  • @Graillotion thank you so much!! I'm in the US so ITDF is perfect because I believe they are in the US. I really really didn't want to order internationally. I can't thank you enough!! 🤗🙂☺️
  • @Graillotion what % do you use of Betaine? 
  • Well....I use it in three different formulas....for two completely different reasons....but in the formulas that I am using it as a humectant... I use it at 2% in one and 3% in the other.  However...I always blend it is only partially caring the humectant load.
    I am working with a genius chemist...and we are also using it as component of a fragrance fixative...along with a witches brew of other things. :) 
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