What is Coco-Caprylate? Coco-Caprylate is an ultra-light, fast-absorbing medium polarity natural ester and emollient. It functions like an oil in our formulations but is much lighter.
INCI Coco-Caprylate
Appearance Clear, thin liquid
Usage rate 2–25%
Texture Lightweight, smooth, oil/cyclomethicone-like
Scent None
Absorbency Speed Fast
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in formulations? Coco-Caprylate is oil-like, but ultralight. I love it in many things, but I find it especially shines in cosmetics and haircare, where we want oil-like emollience, but without the weight and greasiness that oil can bring to formulations. It also works wonderfully to lighten up anhydrous formulations.

Coco-caprylate can be a good cyclomethicone alternative in situations where the success of the formulation does not depend on cyclomethicone’s volatility (ability to evaporate quickly). This means coco-caprylate typically will not work as a cyclomethicone alternative in waterproof cosmetics or in ultra-light hair oils.

Do you need it? No, but it is great. I would highly recommend it if you have type 1 or 2 hair and/or if you enjoy making cosmetics. It’s also very useful to have on hand if you prefer to avoid silicones.
Refined or unrefined? Coco-caprylate only exists as a refined product.
Strengths Coco-caprylate is an excellent lightweight naturally derived emollient and cyclomethicone alternative.
Weaknesses Depending on where you live, this ingredient can be hard to source.
Alternatives & Substitutions Other lightweight emollients like Neossance® Hemisqualane and C12-15 alkyl benzoate are good options. After that, I’d try squalane or fractionated coconut oil. You could also try blending fractionated coconut oil with some cyclomethicone to get the lighter feel of coco caprylate, though keep in mind that cyclomethicone is volatile, so you don’t want to heat it. I recommend checking out the table on page two of this document for ideas!
How to Work with it Include coco-caprylate in the oil phase of your formulations; it can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, coco-caprylate should last at least two to three years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks You can purchase both coco-caprylate and coco-caprylate/caprate. BASF sells both; they have one coco-caprylate product (Cetiol® C 5) and two coco-caprylate/caprate products (Cetiol® LC and Cetiol® C 5C). Cetiol® C 5 and Cetiol® C 5C appear to be indistinguishable from one another, while Cetiol® C LC is a bit heavier and more viscous. You can compare them with the table in this document. Both C 5 and C 5C are described as being good cyclomethicone alternatives, so if you’re shopping for this ingredient and find coco-caprylate/caprate described as a good cyclomethicone alternative I’d go ahead and get that and use it interchangeably with coco-caprylate.
Recommended starter amount 100mL (3.3fl oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier.

Some Formulations that Use Coco-Caprylate


Posted on

June 30, 2021