What is it? Isododecane is an extremely lightweight, very volatile (fast evaporating) liquid. It is an emollient and solvent that is frequently used in cosmetics. It gives a fantastic dry-touch finish very quickly.
INCI Isododecane
Appearance Water-like clear liquid.
Usage rate Up to 20%
Texture Thin liquid with great slip, very fast evaporation, and great leftover skin feel.
Scent Nothing noticeable
Absorbency Speed Very fast evaporation
Solubility Soluble with silicones, hydrocarbons, isoparaffin, and mineral spirits.
Why do we use it in formulations? Isododecane is incredibly useful in liquid cosmetics—I’d call it indispensable. It is an excellent choice for liquifying cosmetics that we need to set quickly (liquid lipstick, liquid eyeliner, etc.) as it sets quickly but spreads beautifully before setting. It is also an excellent solvent for strong film-forming silicone resins like trimethylsiloxysilicate.
Do you need it? If you want to make liquid cosmetics it is necessary.
Refined or unrefined? It only exists as a refined product.
Strengths Fantastic fast-evaporating emollient.
Weaknesses Not natural if that is a priority for you. Low flash point (43°C/109°F).
Alternatives & Substitutions Nothing, really. Cyclomethicone is also slippy and volatile, but doesn’t have the same dry-touch finish as isododecane and that finish can be absolutely instrumental to the performance of cosmetics like liquid lipsticks and eyeshadow primers.
How to Work with It Include it in the cool down phase of your recipes. If necessary, very briefly heat it to incorporate it into pre-melted waxes. Keep the flash point (43°C/109°F) in mind! Don’t forget to replace the lid promptly—it will evaporate if left uncovered!
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, isododecane should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Its weightless feel and fast evaporation speed make it an excellent addition to many products where we want great spreadability but no residual weight—think cosmetics and hair products.

Isododecane is a great solvent, which makes it fantastic for cleaning up hard-to-clean messes! I find it brilliant for cleaning up stubborn smudges of colourful cosmetics.

Recommended starter amount 250mL (8fl oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier.

Some Formulations that Use Isododecane


Posted on

January 14, 2019