Alkenones as a Promising Green Alternative for Waxes in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Academic Article uri icon


  • The move toward green, sustainable, natural products has been growing in the cosmetic and personal care industry. Ingredients derived from marine organisms and algae are present in many cosmetic products. In this study, a new green ingredient, a wax (i.e., long-chain alkenones) derived from Isochyrsis sp., was evaluated as an alternative for cosmetic waxes. First, the melting point was determined (71.1–77.4 °C), then the alkenones’ thickening capability in five emollients was evaluated and compared to microcrystalline wax and ozokerite. Alkenones were compatible with three emollients and thickened the emollients similarly to the other waxes. Then, lipsticks and lip balms were formulated with and without alkenones. All products remained stable at room temperature for 10 weeks. Lipstick formulated with alkenones was the most resistant to high temperature. Finally, alkenones were compared to three cosmetic thickening waxes in creams. Viscosity, rheology, and stability of the creams were evaluated. All creams had a gel-like behavior. Both viscosity and storage modulus increased in the same order: cream with alkenones < cetyl alcohol < stearic acid < glyceryl monostearate. Overall, alkenones’ performance was comparable to the other three waxes. Alkenones can thus offer a potential green choice as a new cosmetic structuring agent.

publication date

  • June 5, 2018