Emulsifier for low-viscous serum

GeorgeBensonGeorgeBenson Member
edited April 13 in Formulating
I want to make my first serum and have it be with less than 10% oils, maybe even closer to 5%. I am looking for an emulsifier to use that can do it’s job while providing a lightweight feel and thin consistency. Doing some research I came across sucrose stearate and olivem 1000 as possible candidates, are there any other good ones?

I am trying to keep it “natural” and avoid polymers for this one.


  • CamelCamel Member
    edited April 14
    Olivem 1000 may be a possible choice depending on how low you want the viscosity to be. I have found in my experiments with it that sometimes it can make emulsions too thick. I had a better experience using Olivem 800 (Cetearth-6 Olivate) when I wanted a low viscosity. 

    Another option may be "Natural Emulsifier 146" (Cyclodextrin, Sorbitol, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate) AKA Beauté by Roquette® DS 146. 

    It is a cold-process emulsifier, and although I haven't experimented with it that much yet, I have made some really lightweight, low viscosity spray-lotions containing 5-10% oils using it. I imagine adding something like a cellulose polymer (HEC) to it would create a nice serum. 

  • You can look for a liquid emulsifier blend or non-bodying emulsifier blend. For example from Making Cosmetics, the CreamMaker® FLUID. Or Montanov L or 202 for non / low bodying solid blends.  

  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist

    Sucrose Stearate will give you a water-thin emulsion, but I have found that you generally need to use a co-emulsifier for added stability.  You can use something as simple as Glyceryl Stearate at 1.0% + Sucrose Stearate at 4.0%, for instance.

    Olivem 1000 is more appropriate for a fluid lotion, but you could try it at 1% combined with Sucrose Stearate at 4.0%.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • Awesome thanks for the input everyone I will try these out
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