Isoamyl cocoate

What is it? Isoamyl cocoate is a non-oily, lightweight, silky emollient for all kinds of skincare, colour cosmetic, and hair care applications. It is an ester made from isoamyl alcohol and coconut oil. It is considered natural.

Trade names for Isoamyl cocoate include:

  • TEGOSOFT® AC MB (Evonik – Personal Care)
  • BEREcare™ AC (New Directions Aromatics)

Isoamyl cocoate can be an alternative for cyclomethicone in some applications, but will not work well in formulations where the volatility (fast evaporating nature) of cyclomethicone is key to formulation performance. Isoamyl cocoate is non-volatile.

INCI Isoamyl cocoate
Appearance Clear, thin liquid. Water-like.
Usage rate 1–30%
Texture Smooth, thin, light, slippy.
Scent Nothing distinct.
Absorbency Speed Very fast
Approximate Melting Point Liquid at room temperature.
Solubility Isoamyl cocoate is oil soluble. Medium polarity.
Why do we use it in formulations? Isoamyl cocoate helps soften and moisturize the skin without feeling greasy or oily. I love it in emulsions as an ultra-light alternative to oil (it’s considered an “oil free” emollient). Isoamyl cocoate also helps improve spreadability, reduce tack, and can help reduce the soaping effect in emulsions.

In haircare products, isoamyl cocoate can lighten anhydrous formulations, re-fat cleansers, and boost conditioning.

Do you need it? No, but I would recommend having at least one lightweight liquid ester in your pantry. There’s no need to own both isoamyl cocoate and isoamyl laurate.
Refined or unrefined? Isoamyl cocoate only exists as a refined product.
Strengths Isoamyl cocoate is a light, non-greasy emollient that’s natural and feels downright lovely.
Weaknesses It is hard to find.
Alternatives & Substitutions The best alternatives will be other light, liquid esters. Isoamyl laurate is very similar to isoamyl cocoate. Other alternatives include Neossance® Hemisqualane, Coco-Caprylate, and C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate. I don’t recommend Isopropyl Myristate as it has more of an “oily” feel.

If you don’t have any light liquid esters, a fast-absorbing carrier oil can work as well. Camellia Seed OilRosehip Oil, and Hazelnut Oil could all work well.

How to Work with It Include isoamyl cocoate in the oil phase of your formulations; it can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, isoamyl cocoate should last at least 2 years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks You can also purchase a blend of isoamyl cocoate and isoamyl laurate; this product would work well as an alternative to the pure form of either ingredient. Bay House sells this in the UK, and Soap Oils & Herbs sells it in South Africa.
Recommended starter amount 60–100mL (2–3.3 fl oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier. Mine is from New Directions Aromatics.

Some Formulations that Use Isoamyl cocoate


Posted on

January 24, 2023