Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Yellowish product because of vitamin E

  • Yellowish product because of vitamin E

    Posted by jonathan02 on June 24, 2024 at 2:05 am

    Hello everyone. I am trying to make a hair wax and my preferred product color is white. However, it always end up being yellow/orange. After different trials, the culprit is the amber yellow of vitamin e (mixed tocopherols) that i add for product protection (antioxidant). I use 0.5% of this and still greatly affects the color.

    HOw can i solve this but still using antioxidant in my product.

    1. Can i put colorant? if yes what kind

    2. Should i just completely get rid of antioxidant

    3. lower concentration even more?

    dilky replied 3 weeks, 1 day ago 5 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • reynard

    June 24, 2024 at 3:31 am

    Tocopherol, as you said, has a yellow color. However, tocopherol acetate is colorless and show same function.
    In addition, there are various antioxidants you could use, most notably BHT and BHA.

    I think it would be good to consider these as well.

  • evchem2

    June 24, 2024 at 7:58 am

    @jonathan02 to answer your questions:

    1. Can you add a colorant? Sure if it is approved for your region. In the US colorants must be from a list approved by the FDA (https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredient-names/color-additives-permitted-use-cosmetics ). If I were you I would look for other colored hair waxes on the market in your region to get an idea of what is already out there.

    2. I would not remove the antioxidant completely if you have any oils with unsaturated chains

    3. 0.5% mixed tocopherols seems high, you could try 0.25% and see if the color/scent/overall attributes of your formula stay in good shape.

    @reynard, do you have a source showing tocopheryl acetate has the same antioxidant potential as mixed tocopherols? Everything I’ve ever read is that the acetate form is not a strong antioxidant, and chemically it makes sense as the acetate group has to be removed somehow before you can get AO potential


    • reynard

      June 24, 2024 at 6:48 pm

      What you said is correct.

      It is true that α-tocopherol acetate is physiologically active only when take it oral.

      Thank you for your correction.

    • dilky

      June 25, 2024 at 1:04 pm


  • Graillotion

    June 24, 2024 at 1:36 pm

    Use rate is 5 to 10X higher than should be. Range it between .05 and .1%.

    You did not say…are there even natural oils to protect in the formula? (Do you need the E)

    Acetate form does not protect oils…so if that is the goal, don’t select that form.

    There are alternatives…. Like Rosemary oil extract.

    Since you did not list the formula….it could also me something entirely differently.

    Good Luck.

    • Graillotion

      June 24, 2024 at 2:00 pm

      You can see the discussion on Vit E here: At bullet point #4 (Your research will lead you to this eventually….if you stay off the beginner sites.)

      How to Formulate Like a Pro - (makingskincare.com)

      • dilky

        June 25, 2024 at 1:07 pm

        Thanks for the link🙏

    • jonathan02

      June 24, 2024 at 10:01 pm

      Thank you for this. Here is the LOI i used



      Sunflower Oil

      Jojoba Oil

      Coconut Oil


      Cocoa Butter

      Cetyl Alcohol


      Candelilla Wax

      Vitamin E Oil

      Thank you so much for the insight again.

      • Graillotion

        June 25, 2024 at 12:56 am

        Well……….. Candelilla Wax can be quite yellow.

        Typically when we have issues…..we do what is called a ‘knockout’ test… to confirm our suspicions of a problem ingredient. I’d say you have two.

        Make very small batches in one, leave out the E

        In the other leave out the C wax. (You could sub in an alternate…that is not colored.)

        See what your result is.

        Note: even if the issue is with C wax….make sure you reduce your E levels to functional amounts. Using as much as you did….actually has negative properties! (Too much of a good thing.)


        • jonathan02

          June 25, 2024 at 1:29 am

          Hello. I actually did trials without any vitamin E oil and candelilla wax’s contribution in the color is negligible. Btw, I only used 3% of candelilla wax in this formulation. Thank you for the insights <3

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