Here in the UL Prospector Knowledge Center, we strive to offer a valuable insights and viewpoints, from a variety of industry experts. Keeping with this goal, we’re partnering with the Institute of Personal Care Science (IPCS) to deliver video content developed with cosmetic formulators in mind.
Video host Belinda Carli is the Director of IPCS, which offers the Internationally Recognised Training for Cosmetic Formulation and Regulatory Affairs. She holds a Bachelor of Natural Therapies, Diploma of Cosmetic Science and Certificate in Training and Assessment. She has written five books on Cosmetic Formulation from Beginners through Advanced levels as well as Organic and Colour Cosmetic Formulations and Brand Management.
Belinda provides training to all levels of industry, both on-site and online, and has developed thousands of personal care formulations and document dossiers over the years. Her videos are informative, instructional, and relevant to challenges formulators face every day. We are pleased to add her to our team of experts.
For the first video, Belinda focuses on natural solubiliser and essential oil combinations used in personal care products, highlighting some of her favorites, as well demonstrating how to achieve product stability.
- Natural solubilisers often don’t perform as well as standard polysorbates, which represent the more-typically used solubilisers in the industry.
- Belinda tested several solutions under stressful conditions, in order to compare them to the commercial synthetic/partially synthetic solubilisers often used in the industry.
- In her tests, Belinda used a 5% input of solubiliser, .8% various essential oils, plus .2% natural Vitamin E and an antioxidant, then conducted three freeze-thaw cycles.
- Solubilisers used in the video test:
- Essential oils used:
- Preservatives used:
- Using an antioxidant is essential when formulating with essential oils.
- Because of the different lipid profiles, solubilisers will or will not work as effectively with certain essential oils.
- You can tell how stable your solubilised mix will be by conducting some freeze-thaw cycles.
- Signs of instability: sediment at the bottom, fog/cloudiness, or a floating lipid or powdery layer at the top
- To resolve instability, you can increase your solubiliser or decrease essential oils.
- Even if a solution is cloudy, that might not mean it’s unstable if there’s no residue.
- A stable solubilised solution doesn’t have to be clear, but a lot of consumers consider that a mark of quality.
- If you’re looking for a clear solution, you may need to test various solubilisers.
- No one solubiliser is going to fit every application. Different essential oils will impact the performance of the solubiliser.
- There can be a dramatic difference in the appearance of the end product with different essential oils.
- Remember that your selection of a natural solubiliser will depend on your company’s philosophy, certifier requirements, and essential oils used.
- Always prepare lab samples to check suitability for your application.
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18 Responses to “Natural Solubilisers and Essential Oils – Are They Up to the Test?”
It was a great source of information about solubiliser as everyone is looking for a replacement of Tween.
There is one more that I have tried Polysugamulse D9,by CC Colonial. Whats your views about this?
Thank you fr this very interesting video!
Can you say more about the three freeze / taw cycles? How long is it and which degrees?
Thank you by advance
Hello , i would like to ask you why do you need to use solubilisers ? If making cream, you add EO’s at 28c and you have already emulsifier inside. Sorry, i am bit new here.
Informative and best of all practical. Thank you!
Great talk. Why is there a need for a preservative for essential oils blends? Essential oils have antimicrobial activity, to some extent and also if the blend is totally oil based there’s no water for activity for microbes to grow. Please elucidate. Thanks
I have used it but it creates a lot of foam. The foam takes a long time to dissipate. But it does solubizes well. I will say it makes a great solubilizer for body washes, shampoos.
Muy buena la presentación! me gustaría saber como es el sistema de congelado-descongelado para estabilizar las soluciones. También solicitarles si es posible subtitulos en español. Muchas gracias
Hi Nipun, I did use this in the trials but it did not perform as well as the solubilisers I ended up using in the video. Of course it depends on the essential oils used but I chose to focus on the positive results of trials and what worked well for the video. You may find it works for your specific application, good luck with your developments!
Hi Gregor, we are not trying to make emulsions here but instead to solubilise a small amount of oils in a large quantity of water; so they need specific solubilisers to maintain stability. I hope this helps, it is different chemistry to making an emulsion, happy formulating!
Hi Herb, essential oil blends do not have sufficient broad spectrum anti-microbial efficacy to be used as preservatives to ensure safe use of cosmetics and protect against all potential sources of contamination – so a preservative is necessary to achieve the required microbial limits set in Pharmacopeias. You don’t need preservative if the formula is oil based but these examples were mostly water, in which case good preservative protection is required. Hope this helps, happy formulating!
Ola Gabriela! Congelado-descongelado (freeze/thaw) is a type of stability testing we use to get quick results of likely stability for solutions and emulsions. You can learn about the process more thoroughly and also how to interpret results through the Institute of Personal Care Science http://www.personalcarescience.com.au All training is however in English, hope this helps.
Hi Cecile, we used standard -18degC/+25degC 24 hour cycles, hope this helps, happy formulating!
What is your recommendation of a solubiliser for blue essential oils (yarrow and blue German chamomile)? Clouded appearance does not bother us or our customers one bit, but I do not want any foaming in a facial serum (aloe based). Needs to be organic compliant.
Hi Ewa, the problem you will have with sufficient solubiliser is that in forming the micelles to solubilise the oil, there will be excess solubiliser with very high HLB and surface activity such that you will get foam. If you don’t mind clouding but don’t want foam, then you are better to create a gel/serum where the oils are stabilised within a gum network rather than a solubiliser. With solubilisers you will inherently get foam, so you need to create a different form/system if you don’t want that foam. I hope this helps.
Please suggest me non foaming solubiliser derived from natural source .
Hi Krishan, unfortunately, you can’t get a solubiliser without foam, this is because of the chemistry of the material that makes it a solubilising agent. To be a solubiliser, the material has to have a very high affinity for water (high HLB) while being an amphiphilic substance – and by this very chemistry, it will create foam if shaken/stirred in water. What you can do, though, is work with the ratio of solubiliser: oil that you use to try to use the minimum necessary solubiliser to solubilise effectively which will minimise the excess foam. Too little solubiliser and it won’t be stable/solubilise properly – too much and you just get more foam! Work with the ratios to balance it as much as possible for the lowest foam but suitable solubilising but please don’t expect no foam, it just won’t happen. Hope this helps.
I`m looking for a USDA Organic Certified Preservative. Do you have any suggestions?
Choosing the correct preservative is not just about choosing one that is USDA suitable. It totally depends on the rest of your formula and other ingredients used, as well as your method. We can assist, please purchase consulting time here: https://nam05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpersonalcarescience.com.au%2FAdvice%2FAdvice-2046%2F&data=02%7C01%7CRita.Marks%40ul.com%7C1a011eb06c394eab533908d83406b6d7%7C701159540ccd45f087bd03b2a3587569%7C0%7C1%7C637316550724899395&sdata=7emaK2oTCCXvpWTCHNaCaCS%2FweiXYdosQSY4PX4vj2M%3D&reserved=0 and we’ll be in touch to get details and advise you accordingly.