C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate

What is it? C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is a lightweight oil soluble ester with a beautiful dry skin feel. It is made from benzoic acid and C12–15 alcohols.
INCI C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate
Appearance Clear liquid
Usage rate Manufacturers suggest 1–30% (The CIR does not mention a maximum usage level; tests a 100% concentration showed no reaction or irritation)
Texture Smooth, thin liquid
Scent Nothing noticeable
Absorbency Speed Fast
Solubility Oil
Polarity High
Why do we use it in formulations? C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate adds dry-touch emolliency and improves pigment dispersion in our products, making it a great choice for colour cosmetics. Its light, dry touch also makes it a great base for body oils and other anhydrous products we’d like to have a light, dry finish (it is similar to isopropyl myristate in this way).
Do you need it? No
Refined or unrefined? C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate only exists as a refined product.
Strengths Excellent light-weight emollient that improves slip and reduces greasy feel.
Weaknesses Not considered natural, can be harder to source.
Alternatives & Substitutions Isopropyl myristate would probably be my first choice, or a different lightweight ester like Coco-Caprylate, Neossance® Hemisqualane, Isoamyl cocoate, or Isoamyl laurate.

A lightweight silicone like cyclomethicone could work in cold processed formulations.

A very lightweight carrier oil will also work, though that will still be heavier than  C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate.

How to Work with It Include C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate in the oil phase of your formulations. It can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate should last two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is sold under many different trade/brand names; be sure to check the INCI so you know what you’re buying.
Recommended starter amount 50–100mL (2–3fl oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon. In the US you can get it from Essential Wholesale, Making Cosmetics, and Formulator Sample Shop. In Canada, Windy Point has it. The Formulary sells it in the UK, and Aroma Shoppe sells it in the EU. New Directions & Trulux sell it in Australia.

Some Formulations that Use C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate


Posted on

February 26, 2019