Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Esters: Ethylhexyl palmitate

Ethylhexyl palmitate (also known as octyl palmitate) can be found under the brand names of Ceraphyl 368 (ISP), Crodamol OP (Croda), or Tegosoft OP, amongst others.

It's a clear, colourless, almost odourless ester derived from coconut or palm oil. It's a medium spreading ester - it's a low viscosity, medium surface tension ester that is better than C12-15 alkyl benzoate and on par with dimethicone or fractionated coconut oil. In fact, it can be considered a good dimethicone equivalent for skin care products, so if you're looking to replace silicones in your non-hair care products, consider ethylhexyl palmitate. It's non-occlusive, but is considered comedogenic and acnegenic when used at higher levels.

You can use it at 1% to 50%, but 5% is considered the usual amount. At 40% to 50% it's considered mildly irritating; at 2.5% to 2.7% it's considered minimally irritating to all but the most extremely sensitive skin.

Ethylhexyl palmitate is generally used in foundations and mineral make-up powders as a binder, as well as lipsticks and lotions or creams. It's used a lot as a solvent for sunscreens as it won't interfere with the active ingredients. (But remember, don't make your own sunscreens!) Try using it in a body oil spray, lotion bar, or balm to increase the silky feeling and decrease the greasiness.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with ethylhexyl palmitate and other esters!


Anonymous said...

I've spent the last hour trying to find a supplier for this, and I'm getting frustrated.

My father's favorite hand lotion uses this as the main emollient. I'm trying to make a dupe that he'll like, because I think it's a little ridiculous that he's paying $20 plus shipping for a 100 g tube of hand lotion. Besides, I have way too much fun every time I find something new to experiment with ;-)

Thanks to you, I can now read labels and get a pretty good idea of what goes into a product. Now I just need to find a place to buy a few ounces of ethylhexyl palmitate, and I'll be able to play with a new ingredient and make my father happy!

Katie Z

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Katie! I get mine from the Personal Formulator! Here's the direct link! I'm so glad you can make what you want. Isn't it great knowing this stuff?

Christine Higgins-Reid said...

Hi Swift, I noticed you said use in 'non-hair' products. Does this mean it cannot be used on the hair? I was googling the ingredient as it is in a product I am thinking of buying Curls Organic Whipped Cream:

Botanical Infused H2o, Certified Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Alcohol, Certified Organic Soybean Oil, Glyercin, Polyimide-1, Stearic Acid, Certified Organic Coconut Oil, Certified Organic Gardenia Essential Oil, Certified Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Certified Organic OIive Oil, Certified Organic Jojoba Oil, Certified Organic Avocado Oil, Certified Organic Wheat Germ Oil, Certified Organic Centella Asiatica Extract, Bean Tree, Tocopherol, Panthenol, Allantoin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polysorbate-80, Sodium Carbomer, Natural Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Caramel.

What would be the usage rate for yhis type of hair product?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Christine. You can use this in hair care products. I would use it as you use your silicones or emollients in your hair care products. I've used it at 2% to 5% because I have oily hair and didn't need a ton of emolliency, and I've used it at 10% for a dry hair conditioner.

As an aside, it seems like false advertising to call this product organic, unless they mean "containing carbon" as in the idea of organic chemistry. Look at all those processed ingredients! I have no issue with it, but I'm sure others would!