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Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Dimethyl Isosorbide as Penetration Enhancer for THDA?

  • Dimethyl Isosorbide as Penetration Enhancer for THDA?

    Posted by kivangel on May 7, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    Can DMI enhance penetration of oil soluble actives, in particular Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, in an anhydrous formula? I keep seeing anhydrous formulas with DMI and THDA (as the only active), so I assume they are using DMI as a penetration enhancer? But raw material suppliers state that DMI enhances penetration of water soluble actives with low molecular weight, such as Dihydroxyacetone.

    In my anhydrous formula, I am using DMI as a solvent for another active. But due to DMI’s strong smell, it is worth keeping it if it possibly enhances performance of THDA or other oil soluble actives. Otherwise, I will go with a less smelly solvent.

    Benyamin replied 1 week ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • chemicalmatt

    May 8, 2023 at 2:06 pm

    Not sure which supplier was informing you @kivangel but they were WRONG. Dimethyl isosorbide works with lipids (oils) especially, not so much with water-soluble molecules. There are many penetration enhancers for those, but not many oil penetrants safe to use in topical formulae. DMI stands out, perhaps this explains why it has been historically more expensive than the molecule structure suggests.

    • kivangel

      May 8, 2023 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you so much for confirming that @chemicalmatt I appreciate your expertise! MySkinRecipes says on DMI product page that “DMI is suitable for conveying water–soluble ingredients.” LotionCrafter also mentions DMI transporting water–soluble actives into skin. Hence, my confusion. But today I talked to Grant Industries rep through UL Prospector, about their Gransolve DMI. They confirmed that DMI is used for both oil and water soluble actives. So that’s great news!

  • Benyamin

    Beginning formulator
    May 21, 2023 at 8:26 am

    Hello, I have made two hair straightening formulas, in the first formula I have used methylene glycol for smoothness, surfactants and silicones… and in the second formula, I have used glyoxylic acid and glycolic acid for smoothness and amino acids, glutamic acid.. …I have used it, I want to use a thermally activated substance such as urea or amines for more penetration.