Saturday, August 21, 2010

Esters: Using cetyl esters in body care products

As I mentioned yesterday, you can use cetyl esters as a substitute for cetyl alcohol in pretty much any creation. You will find you have a slightly silkier, definitely thinner, lotion when you make this substitution.

As a note, if you're using BTMS as your emulsifier, you probably won't notice a difference in the silkiness or the viscosity of the product as BTMS-50 contains cetearyl alcohol, which overrides any of the changes with its dry, powdery feeling. If you're using Polawax or e-wax as your emulsifier, you'll notice the difference! 

I've been enjoying cetyl esters in anhydrous products, like this complicated balm. I wanted something stiff but not too stiff, and cetyl esters gave me those qualities over the cetyl alcohol. And you can add it to a whipped butter to make something like aloe butter, shea-aloe, soy butter, or another hydrogenated butter to make those butters more stiff, like you'd have with mango butter or shea butter.

WHIPPED BUTTER WITH CETYL ESTERS
75% hydrogenated butter or shea-aloe or aloe butter
5% cetyl esters
20% esters of choice or 15% oils and up to 5% IPP or IPM
1% fragrance oil (optional - remove 1% from the oils or butter)
1% Vitamin E (optional  - remove 1% from the oils or butter)

I love cetearyl ethylhexanoate in a whipped butter, but remember it doesn't like vanilla fragrances, so you can use C12-15 alkyl benzoate or ethylhexyl palmitate if you want to use an ester as your oil. You can add up to 5% IPM or IPP to make this a less greasy product if you're using oils

OOPS! I didn't finish this post before publishing it! Or perhaps I didn't save the changes? It's been a very weird week. 

Cetyl esters are great in facial moisturizers as they will thicken the mixture but not too much, add some emolliency along with some slip and glide. If you take a look at this basic recipe for a moisturizer, it's an easy switch to use cetyl esters as the thickener! If you want to use cetyl esters in this cationic facial moisturizer recipe with C12-15 alkyl benzoate from the other day, you won't see a really big change if you're using BTMS as your emulsifier, but you will notice it in anything using Polawax or emulsifying wax.

Try them in a hand or body lotion for a more glidy but still tenacious skin feel. I like using cetyl esters in this recipe - body lotion for silly women who refuse to cover up in the winter - because I can use it as a body or hand lotion. Again, you can substitute it for cetyl alcohol for the same amount.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with cetyl esters in conditioners!

4 comments:

regfmcd said...

Once again thank you for all your wonderful, easy to understand explanation and most of all sharing them:)

melian1 said...

you said:
As a note, if you're using BTMS as your emulsifier, you probably won't notice a difference in the silkiness or the viscosity of the product as BTMS-50 contains cetearyl alcohol, which overrides any of the changes with its dry, powdery feeling. If you're using Polawax or e-wax as your emulsifier, you'll notice the difference!

some products labeled "e-wax" are actually cetearyl alcohol and other emulsifiers, such as polysorbate 60.

would this also change the effect? most e-waxes i've found aren't actually e-wax when you look at the inci.

Anonymous said...

Cetyl esters are one of my favorite ingredients! It provides a unique silkiness I can't achieve with any other ingredient, including dimethicone. But as a note, I use it at 5% in my favorite intense conditioner with oils. My formula uses BTMS-50 as the emulsifier and I can definitely notice a difference. It is so much smoother and silkier than either BTMS-50 alone, or BTMS-50 with cetyl alcohol. Also of note, my e-wax has an INCI of Polysorbate 80 and Cetearyl Alcohol, but I can certainly tell the difference using cetyl esters with that as well. Just my experience.

Bridget

AlineH said...

Aloha Susan,
I'm so glad I discovered your wonderful blog! I have been experimenting with Esters in my lotion and I am wondering what differences you notice between Cetyl Esters, Alkyl Esters and Jojoba Esters (except the price :)
Thanks!
Aline