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  • Best Moisturizing Oils/Butters for Lip Products?

    Posted by Anonymous on January 19, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Hey there!

     I am not a Cosmetic Chemist, but I am interested in making my own lipstick/balm. Here is a list of ingredients I have been playing around with so far and found a pretty decent consistency: Beeswax, jojoba oil, coconut oil, castor oil, Vitamin E oil, and peppermint oil. (I use dyes and different ratios of these when making lipstick). I am just wondering if adding more ingredients, such as shea butter or coco butter would make the product more conditioning? Also, is there an oil I should add to make it even better? Grape seed oil? Neem oil? Almond oil?!

    Sorry for the layman’s terms, Chemists :) Thanks for reading!
    mayurdave replied 10 years, 4 months ago 5 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • mikebavington

    January 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm
    Beeswax is the best wax to use in cosmetic products, in my opinion. Performs very well and is cheaper than some other waxes, suprisingly. A cheaper wax is paraffin wax, and I think it is decent as well. Not as good as Beeswax in performance, but still good; and of course, cheaper.

    Some lotion marketers - such as Cetaphil - use Macademia Nut Oil in their products. You might try that. 

    You can also try looking for ingredients that are higher in stearic acid. Cocoa Butter has a high amount of stearic acid and that is why it performs well on the skin, in my opinion.
    You can try using Orange Wax - the wax extracted from organe peels. It is very, very cheap and it has emollient properties. It has a dark colour, but I think you can find it in a ‘bleached’ hue in that the dark colour is removed and it is essentially clear, in colour. It has an orange scent, and if you use it in small amounts, it might be desireable in your lipsticks. It is suppose to act similar to the way that lanolin acts. You can also try actual lanolin if you wish. Lanolin is used extensively to ‘condition’ the skin and keep it soft and supple.
    And if you have any avocado oil around, I think highly of that oil too.
    Hope this helps. I am an amateur formulator, so take my adivce based upon that declaration.

    If you use Jojoba Oil, I would put a preservative in their as I have experienced problems keeping 100% jojoba oil from producing microbes. 
  • Bobzchemist

    January 21, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Please allow me to point out that by far the vast majority of colored lip products use pigments rather than dyes, because dyes tend to stain the skin, sometimes to the point of needing to wear off. Pigments need to be very well dispersed to look even and not feel gritty.

    Try looking around the web at various lip product formula’s. There is a trade off between long-lasting moisturizing and light-feeling elegance in lip products. You don’t get any moisturizing if the product does not stay on the lips.
  • Chemist77

    January 21, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    @Bobzchemist I remember a product from Revlon few years back and it had a gloss with a sealant for long or smudgeproof wear. Think they used Dermacryl 79 with an evaporating solvent to seal the oil coating of gloss.

  • mikebavington

    January 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Just read up on different waxes used in cosmetics/Lipsticks.

  • Anonymous

    January 22, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Thanks for all the info!! I appreciate it!

  • Chemist77

    January 22, 2014 at 10:39 am

    @mikebavington great link for a ready reckoner.

  • crisbaysauli

    February 7, 2014 at 3:48 am

    hi everyone. i need help in our lip balm manufacturing procedure. do lip balms also need to undergo preservative challenge test, and dermatologic testings before we can launch?

  • Bobzchemist

    February 7, 2014 at 9:21 am

    The FDA requires that you prove that your cosmetic products are “safe” before your product is sold. They don’t specify how you have to do this. However, there are potentially dire penalties if you don’t do anything. Lip balms are very definitely a cosmetic product, so you MUST do some testing,

    Most companies run, at the very least, a preservative challenge test and a RIPT (Repeat Insult Patch Test) before launch. There are alternative methodologies to the RIPT, but you have to run at least one of them. RIPT and the other safety tests are done on humans, so no animal testing is involved.
  • Bobzchemist

    February 7, 2014 at 9:22 am

    @crisbaysauli, this really needs to be in its own discussion.

  • mikebavington

    February 14, 2014 at 8:46 pm


    I would preservative challenge test every product that you produce. If there is ever an issue with contamination in the future, having preservative challenge testing results will cover you to some degree. I know the liability costs of selling a contaminated product in North America would FAR surpass the cost of testing for microbial growth before you sell your product. I would actually use preservatives in every product I produced, even if no water was present in the formula. Oils/fats can attract surface moisture and become contaminated over time.

    For the insult patch testing/dermatologic testing, if you are using common ingredients that have a good history profile,  then you should be okay without doing such testing. For example, if you composed a lip balm that included ingredients such as beeswax, lanolin oil, some common oils/fats - avocado, macademia nut, cocoa butter etc. - you could research the use of those ingredients by other companies and determine their safety profile, based on the percentages you intend to use.

    I dont know how Philipino regulators classify lip balm. In North America, a cosmetic versus drug classification depends on whether you ingest the product or not, and most importantly, what claims you make about the product’s effectiveness. If you dont make any claims about the lip balm and if it is considered an ‘outside the body’ product - not ingested - you probably wont get into trouble regarding the lack of testing for dermatological reasons.

    One thing you should test for is stability. Even if your ingredients are safe and your product wont become contaminated with microbes because of ineffective preservation, you still want to make sure your product ingredients will retain their strength/effectiveness, that the formula will not separate, change colour, texture etc. in the long run.

    It is important to do tests with the actual packaging you intend to use for your final product. As an example, when a formulator uses PVP-Iodine in any formula at a concentration below 5%, it can rapidly become unstable, over time, and lose its effectiveness -  especially in plastic packaging.

    PVP Iodine at lower than 5% concentration in a formula should be sold in a glass, amber jar, based upon the BASF product brochure recommendations. If a person was formulating with PVP-Iodine and wasnt aware of this fact beforehand, stability testing would let them know about the potential problem before putting their product on the market.

    In conclusion, although I dont know the market parameters in the Philipines, I would at least do preservative and stabiltiy testing for all the formulas you distribute.

    **Again, in the interest of full disclosure, I am an amateur formulator and dont have the training or experience of the formally trained individuals on this site. So, take my advise only as extra information.

  • mayurdave

    February 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    The best ingredients I have found are Chiuri butter, Murumuru Seed butter, Cupuacu Seed butter and Ghee butter.

    Full disclosure:  I am an ingredient supplier.

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