How to properly dissolve 18 BETA GLYCYRRHETIC ACID

Hello everyone, thank you in advance for your time and help. 

First of all, i’m not a professional Chemist, i’m Just a DIY kitchen maker, so please be patience with me. 

However, i would like to increase the soothing power of my lotions  by using this active substance, but unfortunatly i can get only the water insoluble form who, like the technical datasheet explain, is “Practically insoluble in water; soluble in ethanol, in ether, in pyridine and in acetic acid; very soluble in chloroform and dioxane”. I tried with the only solvent I can easily get and that it is not too harmful to the skin, ethanol, but the solubility is really low; in fact, I obtained a crystalline solution with an ethanol: GA ratio of 20: 1, and I don't want to put such a high percentage of alcohol in a cream for delicate and reddened skin. the technical data sheet suggests using this active at 2%, so decreasing the doses of solute to proportionally decrease the amount of solvent would seem useless. 

I read with interest that Belassi synthesizes the dipotassium glycyrrhizinate starting from Glycyrrhetinic acid and making it react with KOH,  but I guess it's something I can't do with my home "powerful tools" LOL. 

So, if anyone could suggest some elegant and applicable solution to my problem, I would be genuinely grateful to test your valuable suggestions.

thanks again for your time,


Ps: sorry for my poor english, is not my mother tongue, i’m from Italy. 


  • MaydayMayday Member
    edited January 21
    I was curious and looked into this a little but don't have an answer. The CIR assessment may be useful to you since it has some information on usage levels and solubility of the different molecules in this family.
    If it's soluble in acetic acid, perhaps you can dissolve it in that and then adjust the pH down from there.
    ⚠️ I have a lot of ideas, but not much experience! Please keep this in mind when reading my suggestions. ⚠️
  • GiuliBiGiuliBi Member
    edited January 22
    Hi! I am quite sure that the solubility in acetic acid is lower or similar than the solubility in alcohol, so we would still have the problem of the solute / solvent ratio. moreover, I fear that once the pH is raised our solution will not remain stable but a precipitate of salts will form. nothing that cannot be attempted, however, but I do not think we are faced with a real solution. anyway, I'm very grateful that someone answered me and took the time to reply to my question, so thank you so much! I will explore the site you indicated to me. Thanks again!
  • One more suggestion is that you can look for patents for products containing Glycyrrhetinic Acid, and see if they describe how they formulate with it.
    ⚠️ I have a lot of ideas, but not much experience! Please keep this in mind when reading my suggestions. ⚠️
  • Yes, this is a good idea. Thanks a lot for your help! 
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