Antioxidant protection....

Is it necessary to include antioxidants in formulas that use fragrances and essential oils? Could fixed oils with long shelf lives and high antioxidant content offer protection to fragrance, etc. against oxidation?


  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited November 2018
    You need antioxidants every time you use oils. You don't need it only when you use petrolatum, mineral oil, and synthetic oils because all natural oils do oxidize.
  • Thank you, @ngarayeva001. Do you happen to know of any research showing how fragrance oxidizes in fixed oils? I'd love to read more about it.

  • Sorry, @ngarayeva001. One more question. When you say "every time you use oils" does that mean fixed and fragrance alike? Thank you!
  • There is quite a lot of information online but in summary all oils oxidize. The higher oil’s iodine value the faster it will oxidize. You can also analyze fatty acids composition, for example saturated fats are less prone to oxidation than monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats oxidize even faster. Try to google iodine value table. Let me know if you can’t find it. I should have it somewhere. I know that some carriers oils contain a lot of vitamin E (apricot kernel, cherry kernel etc) but unfortunately they won’t prevent essential oils from oxidation and will oxidize themselves. So, you need tocopherol in every formulation with oils. I don’t have a comprehensive study on carrier oils but I should have one on essential oils. 
  • That is very helpful, and I will search that. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question and point me in the right direction!
  • If you do come across the essential oils study, I would very much like to see that, @ngarayeva001. Thank you again.
  • @ngarayeva001 sorry to ambush this thread but is there a recommended % of antioxdants to include? I've been reading about tocopherols and I see the them included from as low as 0,5 % to as high as 2 % to prevent oils from oxidating.
  • @Christopher, it is a good question, and I am trying to research it now. I recently read that some experts came to the conclusion that you need as little as 0.1%! And if you add more, you are actually increasing not reducing change of oxidation. We are talking about tocopherol here, that has the only purpose of preventing oils from getting rancid.

    Regarding tocopheryl acetate, it's an active ingredient that is used for skin benefits. And you can actually use 2% if you want to. Some manufacturers suggest up to 5.

    If you analise LOIs of commercial products you will notice that tocopheryl acetate is used at a higher % than tocopherol.

    I will let you know if I find a reliable research paper.
  • @ngarayeva001 Thank you for an insightful answer. Ill also be on the lookout and will let you know. 
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