Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Science Capric/caprylic trigyceride VS glycerin - what’s the difference

  • Capric/caprylic trigyceride VS glycerin - what’s the difference

    Posted by AVisotsky on August 19, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Hello, dear chemists. Could you please explain in a layman language why Caprylic/capric triglyceride doesn’t have the same properties as glycerin?
    One of my customers (who is avoiding glycerin) is asking based on this description:

    “Capric/caprylic triglycerides are naturally occurring in coconut and palm kernel  oils at lower levels  but to make this pure ingredient, the oils are split and the specific fatty acid (capric acid and caprylic acid are isolated and recombined with the glycerin backbone to form the pure capric/caprylic triglyceride which is then further purified (bleached and deodorized) using clay, heat, and steam. No other additives or processing aids are used.”

    I’d really appreciate your insights,

    fareloz replied 2 weeks, 4 days ago 5 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • oldperry

    August 19, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    It all comes down to the existence of -OH (oxygen/hydrogen) bonds in Glycerin that are not present in Carpic/Caprylic triglycerides. 

    This is a vast simplification but in general molecules that have -OH groups tend attract water. Thus glycerin is a humectant.

    Triglycerides have no free -OH groups plus they have a large segment of carbon-hydrogen bonds. So, they do not attract water or behave in a humectant way like glycerin.

    When capric/caprylic triglycerides are made, the glycerin used to make them is used up in the chemical reaction. It no longer has any of the properties that glycerin once had.

    This is true of most any chemical reaction. Hydrogen is a gas and Oxygen is a gas but when you combine them to make water, you get a completely different molecule which behaves in a completely different way.

  • AVisotsky

    August 19, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Perry, thank you! This is what I needed

  • MissV

    March 20, 2024 at 10:21 am

    So if the glycerin is gone after the chemical reaction and this new substance is left with different properties, would glycerin need to be listed in the ingredients if it was not otherwise used in the formulation?

    • graillotion

      March 20, 2024 at 2:01 pm

      the word ‘triglyceride’ ….the part of the word ‘glyceride’…tells you the glycerin (backbone) is still there.

      So, if you have listed CCT on the inci….you have disclosed what is needed. If you don’t want the glycerol backbone…try some CCC or Jojoba.

      We do not list on the inci…down to the molecular level. 🙂 In this day and age…we are even lucky if they list the actual preservative. 😂

      • graillotion

        March 20, 2024 at 2:04 pm

        Sounds like your client…might have read one of the blurbs I recently wrote on a forum. I was shoveling $hi+ on a group that was disparaging glycerin…..so I explained to them what a triglyceride was…in hopes of destroying their day, week, month, life. 😂

        • graillotion

          March 20, 2024 at 2:52 pm

          Natural oils for the most part of primarily composed of triglycerides, with the odd-ball exception of Jojoba…which is actually a liquid wax, and not technically a natural oil by definition.

          So as Perry said…. the place on the glycerol molecule that would link with water….is occupied with a fatty acid….and cannot do both at the same time. (Bond to the fatty acid…and bond with water.)

      • MissV

        March 20, 2024 at 8:14 pm

        No I don’t have an issue with the glycerin part of it. I just was wondering where on the ingredient label to list it in a product I formulate if I don’t know how much is there. Or would I just calculate a third of the total triglycerides used. Sorry if this is a dumb question I just want to list it correctly.

        • graillotion

          March 20, 2024 at 8:38 pm

          You do not list the glycerin that is part of a triglyceride….separately.

          In this case…you just list the CCT (spelled out), and you are good.

        • fareloz

          March 25, 2024 at 8:38 am

          The rule is simple - you list ingredients you put, not the outcome of their reaction. E.g. if you put Salicylic acid and NaOH - you list them, you don’t list their product of reaction Sodium Salicylate.

          Same here. If you put CCT - you list it.

Log in to reply.