Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Fragrance Oil Solubilizers for Surfactant Systems?

  • Fragrance Oil Solubilizers for Surfactant Systems?

    Posted by MSPdude92 on April 25, 2022 at 2:37 am

    Hi all - I’m wondering if anyone has had success finding a fragrance oil solubilzier for surfacant systems? I can’t seem to find one that works, without thinning the formulation (i.e, capryl/caprylyl glucoside & polysorbates result in thinning). I use SLS, SLES, CocoBetaine & Decyl Glucoside surfacants, ideally reaching a clear formulation (not cloudy). I thicken it with salt. Some fragrance oils result in a clear formulation without a solubilizer, while others appear hazy & others don’t completely solubilize. Any information you might have on solubilziers OR order of operations to help would be appreciated(i.e, when should be FO be added? Should it be mixed in the water OR into a surfactant first?)

    tecnico3vinia replied 1 year, 12 months ago 5 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Camel

    April 25, 2022 at 2:49 am

    Have you tried PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil? I have had success with it. Mix your fragrance oil into the solubilizer before adding it in. 

  • GeorgeBenson

    April 25, 2022 at 3:34 am

    I can’t recall ever using a fragrance  that won’t dissolve in either Polysorbate 20 or 80. Sometimes I get lucky and the FOs dissolve directly into my surfactants alone, in which case I will do that first and then proceed with   the formula. The polysorbates actually thicken one formula I have, but on all other occasions resulted in a lower viscosity. You may have to just compensate by using some kind of thickener, or more salt if possible. I can’t use sulfates or PEGs but like Camel said above I hear the Castor oil one is very good.

  • OldPerry

    April 25, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    @GeorgeBenson - I concur Polysorbate 20 or 80.  I also use Oleth - 40

  • tecnico3vinia

    April 28, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    There some solubilizers that I use in surfactant systems:
    - PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil;
    - Olivem 300 by Hallstars;
    - Polysorbates.

    Also, you could try to use some of your surfactants to solubilize the oily components. Separate an amount of the surfactants (I suggest that you use, at least, a 3:1 ratio - surfactants:oil), add the oily components in it, gently mix and the add in the system. Other thing that I noticed is that sometimes the oils:surfactant solution has to be added really slowly, almost drop by drop when in a lab-setting (small batch).

    Hope that helps!

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