What is it? Cholesterol is a fatty sterol that works as a wonderful emollient. It is extracted from lanolin.
INCI Cholesterol
Appearance Fine white powder
Usage rate 1–10%
Texture Smooth powder
Scent Mine smells distinctly of lanolin, though I don’t notice it in finished formulations.
Approximate Melting Point 147–150°C (297–302°F)
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in formulations? Cholesterol is an excellent emollient for irritated/damaged skin and hair. It also helps support/repair barrier function. It can also help stabilize emulsions and thicken products.
Do you need it? No.
Refined or unrefined? Cholesterol only exists as a refined product.
Strengths Cholesterol is an easy-to-use additive that is wonderful for the skin.
Weaknesses Cholesterol is not vegan, and the smell may put off those with sensitive senses of smell.
Alternatives & Substitutions Lanolin would likely be your best bet. Liquid lecithin or Brassica Campestris Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer could be decent vegan alternatives. Keep in mind that all of these options will be significantly less potent than pure cholesterol, so you may wish to alter the formulation to include more of the replacement ingredient to compensate.
How to Work with It Include in the oil phase of your formulations. It can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, cholesterol should last 24 months from the time of manufacture.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks I first used cholesterol in this formulation from The Acid Queen. Check it out!
Recommended starter amount 30g (1.06oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Formulations that Use Cholesterol


Posted on

December 4, 2019