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Lipids in Personal Care and Cosmetics
junio 7-11, 2021
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Course Summary

This course provides a detailed look into the roles that plant-based lipids can play in personal care and cosmetic formulations. Particular focus will be put on how the structure of fatty acids found in plant-based lipids, and more importantly the triglycerides and wax esters that contain them, determine the interdependent properties of oxidative stability, compatibility, solid fat content, and crystallization types of various oils, fats, and waxes. Further, we will examine how these properties can inform our choices of oils, fats, waxes, and their derivatives within different personal care and cosmetic products, including anhydrous and emulsion-based products. Finally, we will review some of the scientific literature describing the potential therapeutic benefits of different components of plant-based oils and fats.

Who Should Attend?

This will be a fairly technical course, best suited for professionals with at least some basic knowledge of lipid chemistry and personal care/cosmetic formulation. However, in addition to formulators, quality control chemists, regulatory scientists, and product development professionals will find many new insights within the course materials. As well, any sales and marketing professionals who have a scientific background should find the course beneficial to their current positions.

Course Outline

Brief review of vegetable oil lipids, their molecular structures, biological roles, and naming conventions. With focus on: Triglycerides, Sterols, Waxes, Tocopherols.

Oxidative stability of fatty acids and triglycerides review:

  • How fatty acid degrees of unsaturation determine oil and fat stability.
  • Oxidative stability testing (OSI), determination of relative stability of oils/fats, use of testing for determining stability of finished products.
  •  Focus on antioxidant mechanisms of preventing degradation and rancidity, with comparison of native antioxidants and added antioxidants.
  •  Formulation strategies for antioxidant additives in skin care and cosmetics, comparing functional levels of inclusion, synergies of antioxidant combinations.

Triglyceride composition, fat composition, and functionality in applications:

  • Introduction of Solid Fat Content concepts, specifically for anhydrous applications.
  • How individual fatty acid melt points combine to create unique SFC curves of triglycerides.
  •  How the composition of triglycerides found in vegetable fats then determine the unique SFC profiles of those fats.
  •  Examples of how counter-intuitive differences in SFC curves impacts different fats in different applications.

Crystallization and the molecular structure of triglycerides and waxes:

  • Molecular structure of various fat and wax crystals, polymorphic behavior, x-ray crystallography analysis
  • Incompatibility of fats due to unique triglyceride compositions.
  • Eutectics, how incompatibility can alter the final melt point of a fat/oil blend.
  • Blending fats and oils in anhydrous and emulsions, formulation strategies.
  • Waxes as structuring agents in anhydrous products, compatibility with different fats and oils.

Vegetable oils/fats, waxes, emulsifiers and their roles in skin care formulations:

  •  Brief review of native skin lipid composition, epidermis, sebaceous gland, and stratum corneum structure.
  • Similarities and dissimilarities of vegetable oil composition compared to native skin lipids.
  • Emulsions and natural oils, advantages and disadvantages, formulations strategies, updating legacy formula that contain synthetics.
  • Sterols and waxes as emulsion stabilizers.
  • Vegetable oil derived fatty acid-based emulsifiers, how their structure determines functionality, molecular structure and the HLB system.

Brief review of dermatological research studying efficacy of treatment with vegetable oils and their derivatives, proposed mechanisms:

  • Sterols and Triterpene Esters
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acid dominant oils
  • Antioxidants
  • Polyphenols, phospholipids, glycolipids

 About the Instructor

Benjamin Schwartz, Senior Personal Care Application Specialist, AAK USA Inc.


Graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences, Benjamin Schwartz began his career in Personal Care as a lab technician for The Estee Lauder Companies. After a move to the west coast, he spent 12 years as an R&D Chemist, and then Manager, for contract manufacturer Columbia Cosmetics. Through this experience, he has gained an intimate knowledge of personal care chemistry and formulations. Now having joined AAK, a global vegetable oil manufacturer, he brings this knowledge and insight to the world of plant-based lipids and their applications for personal care and cosmetics.

AOCS Conituniung Education Program Course: Lipids in Personal Care and Cosmetics

Instructor: Benjamin Schwartz, Senior Personal Care Application Specialist, AAK USA Inc.


The online course, part of the AOCS Countinung Education Program, with be informative and interactive to ensure...

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