In this post, Aesthete asks: Based on your experience with Coco-Caprylate Caprate, how is it compared to C12-15 alkyl benzoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate and dimethicone? Occlusive? Spreading? After-feel? Is it comedogenic?
Great question, Aesthete! I decided to do a little test by comparing coco-caprylate caprate against fractionated coconut oil (INCI caprylic/capric triglycerides), C12-15 alkyl benzoate, and cetearyl ethylhexanoate. I poured each one into a small shot glass and tested a few things: colour, clarity, viscosity, skin feel upon contact, play time, skin feel after 20 minutes, and skin feel after two hours.
Clarity: All of them were clear.
Colour: I would call of them uncoloured.The coco-caprylate caprate claims to be yellowy in colour, but it looked clear to me.
Viscosity: Coco-caprylate caprate was about the same viscosity as the fractionated coconut oil. I found the cetearyl ethylhexanoate was the same or slightly thicker. C12-15 alkyl benzoate was definitely the thickest of the four.
Skin feel: Fractionated coconut oil and coco-caprylate caprate went onto my skin very easily and I spent quite a bit of time rubbing each into my skin. They felt nice and silky on my skin. Cetearyl ethylhexanoate went onto my skin very easily, but I couldn't rub it in as long as I could the others. (This is called "play time". So cetearyl ethylhexanoate has a shorter play time than fractionated coconut oil and coco-caprylate caprate.) C12-15 alkyl benzoate felt slightly thicker than the others, but it too went onto my skin easily. It had less play time than the other three, and it felt like there was a slightly thicker coating of the ester on my skin, but it was a nice feeling.
Play time: Fractionated coconut oil and coco-caprylate caprate definitely had a longer play time than cetearyl ethylhexanoate and C12-15 alkyl benzoate.
Skin feel after 20 minutes: All four felt quite dry and silky on my skin, but the cetearyl ethylhexanoate and C12-15 alkyl benzoate definitely felt like there was a slightly heavier layer, which felt more moisturizing.
Skin feel after two hours: I can still feel the C12-15 alkyl benzoate on my arm, but the others feel gone. It feels as if there's a light layer of occlusive oil on my skin offer moisturizing. I can still kind of tell where the cetearyl ethylhexanoate was on my arm, but if I didn't know where I'd applied the fractionated coconut oil and coco-caprylate caprate, I wouldn't know where to find it. (Which really shows I should have done some kind of blind test, but everyone else in the house was busy when I had some workshop time!)
In all honestly, I couldn't really tell the difference between fractionated coconut oil and coco-caprylate caprate. They looked the same colour and had the same viscosity. They felt the same going onto my skin and felt the same in the 20 minute and two hour test. Again, if this had been a blind test, I don't think I would have felt a difference as they seem really really close in nature.
Next step: Test it against dimethicone and ethylhexyl palmitate as Aesthete suggests. Join me tomorrow for that comparison!