Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Putting Vanillin into a skin safe solution…..

  • Putting Vanillin into a skin safe solution…..

    Posted by Graillotion on February 22, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    I am including Vanillin (at 3%) into a lotion.  When I first started working with it, it was very destructive to my emulsions, and did not want to stay in solution.  Hehe….a real difficult child!  It seems to work well with ethyl alcohol…. but I have a couple questions in this regard.  I live in Hawaii, so getting (food grade) ethyl shipped  is almost impossible.  That being said…I can buy 75% denatured at the drug store…or expensive Everclear at the liquor store.  
    First question….is denatured (75%) ethyl skin safe? (using at 9% to dissolve the 3% Vanillin).
    2nd Question…. I had read that I could also use Benzyl benzoate or Benzyl benzoate, or a mixture of the two….was also a good solvent for Vanillin?  These products I can easily have shipped to Hawaii?
    Any thoughts on Benzyl’s as a lotion ingredient, and as a Vanillin solvent?  (These products will arrive via e-bay next week, so I can experiment with them.)

    I was able to find a emulsifier that seems to work… Sepigel 305…. Any thoughts on other emulsifiers that will work with Vanillin solutions and EO’s?


    EVchem replied 4 years, 2 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • EVchem

    February 24, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    1) Denatured ethanol is used in lots of products where alcohol is required, you might want to check what kind of  denaturants are being used. As far as skin safety the best way would be to get HRIPT testing done on your finished formula, but that can be expensive for a hobbyist.

    2)https://online.personalcarecouncil.org/ctfa-static/online/lists/cir-pdfs/PR574.pdf - that link is for safety data on benzyl benzoate, it mentions  sensitization in some groups. Again, patch testing of your final formula will show best if it is irritating, I’d advise anyone who uses it to test a small area of skin first.

    Both these ingredients are typically used in fragrance which would be at a pretty low use in a topical (like <1% total where both the vanillin and benzyl benzoate could be components) so  the patch testing really will be important. Polymeric emulsifiers (like Sepigel 305, Simulgel NS, Sepiplus 400) will probably work similarly, difference will be feel. 

    I don’t know how long you’ve monitored your formula for but vanillin discolors readily, might want to keep an eye out for that as well.

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