Caprol Micro Express has discontinued its manufacture and there are only a few gallons left at Lotioncrafter, so let us see what we can figure out as a replacement.
As a quick note, Jen at Lotiocrafter could formulate CME for those who might want to buy it from her. Would this interest you? Pleae comment on this post so she can get an idea of the interest in this!
When I'm thinking about substituting ingredients I ask myself a few questions. What does this ingredient do? What is it that I like about this ingredient? What does it bring to the product?
Caprol Micro Express is a solubilizer, which is to say it helps us integrate oil soluble ingredients into water soluble products. People use it in room sprays to solubilize the fragrance or essential oils into the water or in other sprays for the same reason. It also behaves as an emollient or moisturizing ingredient that we can add to a water soluble product without fear of separation.
PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil in its place. I have found it creates the clearest, least sticky feeling sprays compared to the other ingredients. The picture to your left shows the clarity of the experiments I ran with this solubilizer. Click below to see the full details.
PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil: Yuzu fragrance oil and peppermint essential oil
PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil: Blalsck amber lavender and Clementine cupcake fragrance oils
If you want some emolliency, you could try Cromollient SCE (INCI: Di-PPG-2 myeth-10 adipate), as it is both a solubilizer and emollient. I haven't done a ton of experimenting with this ingredient, so I can't guarantee it'll make clear solutions.
You could use caprylyl/capryl glucoside, but you won't necessarily get a clear product and you won't get the emolliency. You could, however, add the emolliency to the mix by adding an oil of some kind. You'll have to add enough solubilizer to solubilize that extra oil. Or you could add a water soluble ester like PEG-7 olivate or water soluble shea. (I've found this to be a really sticky feeling solubilizer on my skin...)
You could use polysorbate 20 or polysorbate 80, but they tend to be sticky and you might not get the clear product you want. To get the emolliency, you could add some oil to the mix, and you'll have to add enough solubilizer to solubilize the extra oil. Or you could add a water soluble ester like PEG-7 olivate or water soluble shea. (I've found this to be a sticky feeling solubilizer on my skin...)
There are a few of my thoughts. What do you think?
Solubilizers: A comparison
Making fragrance sprays with caprylyl/capryl glucoside