What is it? A complete plant-derived emulsifying wax for creating oil-in-water emulsions. It is COSMOS certified.
INCI Cetearyl Olivate (and) Sorbitan Olivate
Appearance Thin, flat white flakes.
Usage rate 2–8%
Scent Nothing much.
Approximate Melting Point 70°C (158°F)
Charge Non-ionic
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? In lotions and creams it functions as an all-in-one emulsifier as well as contributing thickening. I find emulsions made with Olivem 1000 tend to be thicker than emulsions made with Polawax or Emulsifying Wax NF.

In cleansing oils and balms it creates products that self-emulsify on contact with water. It also brings the “cleansing” element as Olivem 1000 is made up of molecules that have an oil-loving and a water-loving end; the oil-loving end grabs the oil on your skin, and the water-loving end grabs the water you are washing with to rinse away easily.

Do you need it? No, but if you want a “natural” emulsifying wax Olivem 1000 is likely the one I’d choose.
Strengths It is a fairly easy-to-use complete “natural” emulsifying wax. It has a broader pH range and oil phase tolerance than Ritamulse SCG.
Weaknesses It can be harder to find (and more expensive) than more standard emulsifying waxes like Emulsifying Wax NF. It can also be harder to use successfully.

Olivem 1000 is notorious for “soaping”—turning white on application.

Alternatives & Substitutions Ritamulse SCG is likely the easiest alternative for Olivem 1000 as it is also ECO-Cert compliant and creates emulsions with a similarly thick, fluffy feel. However, Ritamulse SCG does have more incompatibilities than Olivem 1000, so be sure to it is compatible with your formula. You could also use Polawax or Emulsifying Wax NF.

You cannot use a solubilizer, like Polysorbate 80, in place of Olivem 1000.

You cannot use a true wax, like beeswax, in place of Olivem 1000.

You cannot use other members of the Olivem family, like Olivem 300, in place of Olivem 1000.

How to Work with It Melt it into your heated oil phase; it needs to be heated to incorporate.

It is typically recommended to include stabilizers in your formula, like 0.2% xanthan gum, or 1–2% of a thickener/stabilizer like olive wax or Glyceryl Stearate. I don’t always do this and haven’t had any issues.

Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Olivem 1000 should last five years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks The manufacturer recommends high-shear blending until the emulsion is formed, and then slower mixing throughout cooling.
Recommended starter amount 50–100g (2–3oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier.

Some Recipes that Use Olivem 1000

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