Denatured alcohol / alcohols

Hi,

Can anyone throw some light on how alcohols can be incorporated in a serum or cream formula? What function does it serve (I read somewhere it helps the product feel non-greasy)? What type there are? 

Thanks in advance. 
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Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Your question is too vague to provide a good answer. Whether you can incorporate alcohol or not depends on what is in your formula. 
  • Usually serums and creams are intended to moisturise, whereas alcohols (ethanol or isopropyl, anyway) are generally quite drying, and customers are becoming aware of that. You'd be better off replacing oils with dry-feeling esters like C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, or failing that throw some starch in at around 1% - I personally like rice starch, but there's loads of different ones out there. 
  • @LincsChemist, I think it's an urban myth re: alcohol is drying. I was of that opinion when I was a consumer and was avoiding it religiously, but now I can't find proof. I think it depends on the formula. Re; dry feeling esters, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is one of the greasiest ones. There are much dryer options like IPM or Isododecane (which is even volatile).
  • Speaking of denatured alcohol, I recently found out there could be different materials under this INCI. Does anyone know which types are allowed in the US and EU?
  • Speaking of denatured alcohol, I recently found out there could be different materials under this INCI. Does anyone know which types are allowed in the US and EU?
    Could you name a few that you are aware of? 
  • Perry said:
    Your question is too vague to provide a good answer. Whether you can incorporate alcohol or not depends on what is in your formula. 
    My moisturisers tend to feel greasy so I wanted to try and see if an alcohol may help to lessen that effect. Here's an example of the kind of face cream I have formulated in the past:

    Water phase:


    Water

    4

    Propylene glycol

    1

    Glycerin

    3

    Sodium lactate

    0.2

    Disodium EDTA

    0.1

    Hyaluronic acid

    0.1

    Solagum AX

    0.5

    Allantoin

    1

    Colloidal oatmeal

    1

    Niacinamide

    1

    Panthenol

    1

    Sorbitol

    1

    Betaine

    0.5

    Phenonip

     

     

    Oil phase

    4

    Montanov 68 (Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Cetearyl Glucoside)

    2

    Cetyl alcohol

    22

    Sunflower oil

    1

    Dimethicone

    0.5

    Phenonip

    0.1

    BHT

     

     

    Cool down

    2

    Urea

    5

    Centella asiatica extract

    0.5

    Vitamin E

    0.5

    pH adjustment



    Please throw some insight on how I can make it feel less greasy.
  • HA, pantenol, sorbitol, glycerin, betaine are out. You don’t need that many and pantenol is sticky. I don’t know if allantoin is any effective but you can keep it for claims. Definitely keep sodium lactate. Move urea to waterphase. Introduce lactic acid to buffer the ph (I think 6.2 is ideal for urea). Completely rethink your preservative system. Cut sunflower oil to 10-15%. You don’t need vitamin e, you already have BHT. Centella asiatica... it’s a fluff ingredient. Keep it if you want, but cut to an insignificant amount (less than 0.5%). You don’t really need alcohol there I would say.
  • you can also always try adding a starch to help with the stickyness, but too much will feel filmy. other than that @ngarayeva001 covered a lot of good suggestions
  • ifamujifamuj Member
    edited September 4
    HA, pantenol, sorbitol, glycerin, betaine are out. You don’t need that many and pantenol is sticky. I don’t know if allantoin is any effective but you can keep it for claims. Definitely keep sodium lactate. Move urea to waterphase. Introduce lactic acid to buffer the ph (I think 6.2 is ideal for urea). Completely rethink your preservative system. Cut sunflower oil to 10-15%. You don’t need vitamin e, you already have BHT. Centella asiatica... it’s a fluff ingredient. Keep it if you want, but cut to an insignificant amount (less than 0.5%). You don’t really need alcohol there I would say.
    Thank you so much! However, I have a few questions:

    - What seems to be wrong with the preservative system?
    - If I cut sunflower oil to 10-15%, what can I replace the oil phase with to keep the formula consistent and simultaneously prevent the greasy feel? The chosen emulsifier seems to work best at an oil phase of 25-30%. 
  • EVchem said:
    you can also always try adding a starch to help with the stickyness, but too much will feel filmy. other than that @ngarayeva001 covered a lot of good suggestions
    What sort of starches would be helpful?
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited September 4
    ifamuj said:
    EVchem said:
    you can also always try adding a starch to help with the stickyness, but too much will feel filmy. other than that @ngarayeva001 covered a lot of good suggestions
    What sort of starches would be helpful?
    I use arrowroot.

    At about .8 to 1% in my premium products....and I have an oily product...(specialty niche)...where I am pushing 2%.

  • ifamuj said:


    - If I cut sunflower oil to 10-15%, what can I replace the oil phase with to keep the formula consistent and simultaneously prevent the greasy feel? The chosen emulsifier seems to work best at an oil phase of 25-30%. 
    Replace it with more water in the water phase.  It never feels greasy.

    If you must add something to the oil phase...of all the things I tried...I liked this the best:

     Dermofeel Sensolv (Isoamyl Laurate)


  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    @Graillotion according to me yes it reduce greasy effect. 
  • Re preservative, I was going to say, up it to 1% but then noticed you have another 0.5% in oil phase. The thing is, preservatives must protect water, which is often hard to achieve because some of them tend to migrate to oil phase. So addicting it to oil isn’t very effective strategy. 
  • Re preservative, I was going to say, up it to 1% but then noticed you have another 0.5% in oil phase. The thing is, preservatives must protect water, which is often hard to achieve because some of them tend to migrate to oil phase. So addicting it to oil isn’t very effective strategy. 
    Oh, thanks for clarifying! The supplier recommended it to be divided between the oil and water phases, though...
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited October 18
    ifamuj said:

    My moisturisers tend to feel greasy so I wanted to try and see if an alcohol may help to lessen that effect. Here's an example of the kind of face cream I have formulated in the past:

    Water phase:


    Water

    4

    Propylene glycol

    1

    Glycerin

    3

    Sodium lactate

    0.2

    Disodium EDTA

    0.1

    Hyaluronic acid

    0.1

    Solagum AX

    0.5

    Allantoin

    1

    Colloidal oatmeal

    1

    Niacinamide

    1

    Panthenol

    1

    Sorbitol

    1

    Betaine

    0.5

    Phenonip

     

     

    Oil phase

    4

    Montanov 68 (Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Cetearyl Glucoside)

    2

    Cetyl alcohol

    22

    Sunflower oil

    1

    Dimethicone

    0.5

    Phenonip

    0.1

    BHT

     

     

    Cool down

    2

    Urea

    5

    Centella asiatica extract

    0.5

    Vitamin E

    0.5

    pH adjustment



    Please throw some insight on how I can make it feel less greasy.
    You have a pretty high percentage of an oil...that is not the lightest in the world... Try decreasing the oil phase...and use some quicker absorbing oils....Rosehip, raspberry, Meadowfoam, Babassu...etc.
    Mont 68, has a very rich feel, which can be translated as a little oily.  I am currently working on a cream....And use Mont 202 as the primary and 68 as a co-emulsifier, and that strikes a nice balance between light, and rich.  Mont 68 can be difficult to work with, you might consider adding some Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, to strengthen that emulsion.
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