this post on substituting for less expensive ingredients, I got to thinking about esters. You know I love my esters, but if you can't get them locally or find them more expensive than our oils, you can use fractionated coconut oil in place of most of oil soluble ones in lotions and anhydrous creations. You will find the product is a little more greasy feeling, so adding 2% IPM or IPP to the mix will reduce the greasiness.
Hazelnut oil is a great substitute for a lot of the esters because it's light and dry feeling, two of the main characteristics of the esters! Grapeseed oil would also be considered a great option, but its short shelf life (3 months or so) makes it a poor choice unless you're adding a ton of anti-oxidants and will use it in a really short period of time. You aren't going to get some of the benefits of an ester like C12-15 alkyl benzoate (for instance, the fragrance fixative qualities) by substituting, but you will get a lighter, drier feeling product by using fractionated coconut, hazelnut, or grapeseed oil in place of esters.
Cromollient SCE (aka Di-PPG-2 myeth-10-adipate) is a fantastic water dispersible, oil soluble, and surfactant soluble ester, but it's expensive at $6.85 for an ounce. Depending upon the application, you can substitute this ester for a number of different solubilizers, the main ones being polysorbate 20 and polysorbate 80.
If you're making a water based product - let's say a body spray - you could use Cromollient SCE at about 2% to disperse your fragrance oils. Or you could use a 1:1 ratio of fragrance or essential oils to polysorbate 20. If you wanted to add an oil to this body spray, you'd want to use a 1:1 ratio of carrier oils to polysorbate 80. (This is a general rule - you might find you need to increase it.) The polysorbates do tend to be stickier than Cromollient SCE, so you don't want to be adding a ton of them, but they will work well.
If you're including Cromollient SCE to increase mildness in your surfactant based products, click on the link to see an entire post on the topic. If you're using it to decrease the wet and dry combing forces on our hair in a shampoo, consider adding one of our cationic polymers. If you want emolliency, consider adding an oil with polysorbate 80, a water soluble oil (an ester), or adding something like Crothix or glycol distearate. If you want to increase detangling, consider using a cationic polymer or even something like cetrimonium chloride!
If you can't find Crodamol STS (PPG-3 benzyl ether myristate), you can use the oils mentioned above or you can use a combination of cyclomethicone and dimethicone in your hair care products (I like to use them at 2% each). It's a good ingredient to include in surfactant based products, so refer to the Cromollient SCE suggestions above!
Join me tomorrow for fun with a new surfactant!