Olive oil & cosmetics
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Olive oil and cosmetics

In theopening notes of this paper we mentioned how olive oil, even if widely appreciated for it is extraordinary nutritional qualities in alimentary and dietetic fields and also widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for its known therapeutic properties, does not enjoy the same “fame” and widespread usein the cosmetic industry.

Due to its chemical-physical and functionalproperties olive oil would deserve to be preferred over other vegetal oils (local and exotic), which, on the contrary, are appreciated and widely used in the industry.

Sure, there are vegetal oils available on the market (above all from synthesis) that due to their organoleptic properties (stickiness, odour, feel) are preferred over olive oil as vehicles for functional ingredients in a cosmetic product. But as far as quality is concerned (lubricant power, emollient power, carrier of eudermic functional active ingredients), olive oil is definitely preferable over the majority of the most commonly used ‘cosmetic oils’ today (we shallcall them as such for the sake of clarity).

It is enough to think about itscontent of fatty acids (including unsaturated) with their emollient, restructuring and skin protection properties; or the functionality of its unsaponifiable fraction: we mentioned that this is formed of squalene,alcohols and fatty acids and sterols, which are very similar to the structure of the sebum and therefore able to restore the fatty fraction of theskins hydrolipidic film. 

Above all, we should not forget its richness insubstances with an antioxidant function (the polyphenolic derivativesmentioned previously), whose action prevents the lipo oxidation of the cells thanks to the capture of damaging free radicals.


REINOL has studied and created some products that may be considered as the “natural offspring” of olive oil. Thanks to their functionality and proved efficacy, these products are becoming increasingly more popular with cosmetic formulators.

Reinolderm EU Olea  Europea Fruit Oil Olive oil for cosmetics
Reinolderm  OLV 3 Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters Water soluble for toiletry applications
Reinolderm  OLV 4 Sodium PEG7 Olive Oil Carboxilate Primary surfactant for toiletries
Reinolderm  OLV 6 Sodium PEG7 Olive Oil  Citrate Auxiliary surfactant for toiletries
Reinolderm  OLV 7 PEG-4 Olivate Non-ionic emulsifier for liquid crystal systems
Reinolderm  OLV 9 Sorbitan Olivate ‘Peg Free’ surfactant for W/O creams and lotions
Reinolderm  OLV 10 Cetearyl Glucoside, Sorbitan Olivate ‘Peg free’ surfactant for O/W creams and lotion
Reinolderm DOV Decyl Olivate Lipidic component in creams, fusions and oily products.



When the seed oil, which is rich in triglycerides of linoleic and linolenic acids, is left in the open in thin layers, it suffers oxidisation and polymerisation phenomenon. The process of rectification that oils undergo is the cause of the prevalence of polysaturated acids and consequently, the elimination of the tocopherols capable of antioxidant actions contained in the unsaponifiable part. On the contrary, REINOLDERM EU is an Italian olive oil for cosmetic use, which has colour, and odour characteristics required for cosmetic applications. It maintains the initial characteristics of the fruit, with its biochemical properties intact and with a balanced chemical composition that makes it more resistant to the oxidation processes.

Olive Oil is described in all the main Pharmacopoeia (BP, DAB, FUI, PH. EUR., PH. FR., PH. GIAPP.), where its properties as an emollient, as a skin soothing agent, and treatment for eczema and psoriasis are mentioned. It is also used as an emollient, lubricant and carrier for active principles in the preparation of creams and lotions.

The olive has been part of the history of medicine, herbalist medicine and Mediterranean cosmetics for thousands of years and every civilisation has not only used it for the production of oil to be used for food and for illumination, but also as a medicinal plant. Olive oil has always been used as a fundamental ingredient for herbalist and cosmetic preparations as well as being an extremely popular medication.

Due to its chemical-physical and functional properties olive oil would deserve to be preferred over other vegetal oils (local and exotic), which, on the contrary, are appreciated and widely used in the industry. Sure, there are vegetal oils available on the market (above all from synthesis) that due to their organoleptic properties (stickiness, odour, feel) are preferred over olive oil as vehicles for functional ingredients in a cosmetic product.



It is a water soluble derivative from olive oil. Olive oil is the best known and most commonly used vegetal lipid in the food and diet industries due to its extraordinary nutritional and salutary properties. It has also been successfully used in therapeutical and dermatological applications. Because of its chemical composition, it is easily soluble in water, in alcohol and in the major part of organic solvents, and it can therefore be employed in many formulations. It is soluble in many oils both of vegetal and mineral origin, it can be dispersed in liquid fatty alcohols and in synthetic esters from fatty acids. It is odourless, clear, pale yellow coloured; its low acidity value makes it compatible even with the most delicate active principles.

OLIVE OIL PEG-7 ESTERS is the INCI name and the most important characteristics of REINOLDERM OLV 3 are:

  • The emollient and lubricant peculiarities of the precious olive oil promote an enriching effect, which is very  appreciated in shampoos, toiletries and personal care formulations.
  • It reduces the irritating action of the compounds of surfactant system, protect skin and damaged hair from delipidification.
  • When enclosed in toiletries formulations, it does not modify the foaming power of the other surfactants.
  • It causes a thickening effect, not fluidising in any case.
  • It is endowed with a good solubilizing power, which is very appreciated in order to disperse oil, scents and liposoluble active principles in lotions and toiletries.
  • It remove make up in a mild way.
  • It gives very nice after-use feeling on the skin.
  • Because of its good skin and eye compliance, it can be used as an oily compound that permits the absorption of lipophilic active principles in bath and massage formulations.
  • The intermediate HLB value makes it an emulsifier or co-emulsifier in O\W systems. 


 In theformulation of rinsing products such as shampoos, bath and shower foams and intimate cleansers, it is now possible to create new formulations with a lower value of active washing substance: this gives a better compliance, more safety and tolerance to the products in which the functionality is not compromised. These results can be easily obtained by using new milder surfactants with multifunctional properties.

REINOLDERM OLV 4 is a surfactant in a high concentration (40%) which derives from olive oil and which has excellent dermatological compliance and with a very low eye irritating power. It can be easily worked at room temperature, it is colorless andodorless. The INCI name is Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate.

This surfactantmakes creamy and pleasant foam and reveals a perfect compliance towards skin and hair. Ii is stable in a wide pH range and performs a good cleansing power while irritation index is very low. The most important characteristics are:

• It reveals a perfect compliance towards skin and hair

• It makes rich, creamy, shining and small bubbled foam.

• It has a good solubilizing capacity.

• It is stable in alkalis and acids, and it can be used in a large range of pH.

• It reveals an excellent stability in hard waters.

• Its wetting power is one of the most elevated, and it remains stable at all pH values.

• It can be used from 5 to 25% in shampoos and other toiletries, as primary surfactant and in association with others.

• Potential impurities as 1-4 dioxane and free ethylene oxide are absent.

Another point to note about REINOLDERM OLV 4 is that it has shows ionic and anionic characteristics at the same time, which make it compatible with cationic substances which are able to supply good foaming properties and disperse (in small doses) calcareous soaps. Furthermore, it is understood that it is well tolerated by the skin (by the scalp in particular) and by the mucous.



It is a surface-active agent derived from Italian olive oil, particularly designed to be used in the fields of cosmetics, toiletries and mild cleansing. This product is a slightly anionic surfactant where the sulphate group has been substituted by the carboxylic one, which offers a number of well-known advantages, as faras their compatibility with skin, hair, etc. is concerned.

The tests andevaluations carried out revealed that this product is an excellent active component in order to prepare liquid formulations, generally used for cleansing purposes, and more specifically as cosmetics. The most oustanding features, which make this product different from all the other products on the market are:

• no-toxic and no-irritant effects

• excellent cleansing properties

• olive oil emollient and skin soothing properties

• no-excessive de-fatting characteristics

• ability to reduce substantially the irritancy of some commonly used surfactants

• biodegradability close to 100 %


The INCI name of REINOLDERM OLV 6 is Disodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Citrate. This product is compatible with most of common surface-active agents; they can be regularly used in pH range (from 5 to 7) and it is possible to prepare formulations which are completely free from sulphur ions; furthemore, it can be successfully used in contact with delicate and sensitive skins. Ii is a surfactant with outstanding performances, suitable for cosmetics and toiletries; the potentiality of applications of this product has come out for preparing rinsing products with innovating features, above all connected with the "composite" properties that these natural derivatives of the citric or tartaric acid have proved they have. However, since there exists a market trend in using basic raw materials for preparing technical forms of rinsing products, related to certain characteristics of appearance and behaviour during their usage, an alternative compounding topic is proposed, whose basic components are given by mixtures of REINOLDERM OLV 6 and traditional primary detergents such as sodium laureth sulphates. 


It is an emulsifier that works by forming liquid crystals in emulsions. In fact it places itself at the interfacies of a two phases system in a preferential direction, with the polar head into the aqueous phase and the apolar tail into the lipidic one. The post- micellar organisation of REINOLDERM OLV 7 in water is the typical structure of a liquid crystal reticule, where the bilayermicelles create a multilayer lamellar formation.

The theory of stabilisation ofemulsions trough the formation of liquid crystals is different from the HLB theory, or from the Schulman’s couple for it does not need any contrasting emulsifier, which normally has the function to thicken and stabilise the formulation. The stabilisation is now offered by the reticular structure, and the nature of the lipids involved is now less important because both the polarity and the hydrophilic part does not modify the reticular structure of liquid crystals.

The new trend for cosmetic products is now to create emulsions trough a reticular structure which is formed directly into the aqueous phase: one possibility is to use hydrosolvatable polymers, and the other is to employ new peculiar emulsifiers forming a particular reticular structure in which liquid crystals are regularly oriented into the aqueous phase. This completely new conception substitutes the old idea of waxy bodies and consistency factors that were added to the lipidic phase of the emulsion in order to make it both stable and viscous. According to the new trend for cosmetics, in fact, creams now have to be light, not heavy nor sticky.

REINOLDERM OLV 7  is recommendable for formulate:

a) Day creams and daily use emulsions.

b) Cleansing and hydrating lotions.

c) Fluid body lotions.

d) Sun screen and after sun products.

e) Emollient hand creams.

f) Oil free cleansing lotions.



The formation of an W/O emulsion is bound to the action of the emulsifier that must possess the capacity of decreasing the interface tension of the two phases and protecting the dispersed droplets of watery phase from the trend to get together. In a W/O system, the surfactant will concentrate itself at the surface of separation of the not mixing liquids, orienting the hydrosoluble portion toward the water and the liposoluble portion toward the oil. So, it will cause the formation of an emulsion in which the watery phase will present itself as small droplets dispersed in the continual oily phase. REINOLDERM OLV 9 allows the realization of emulsions of appreciable cosmetic grade, shiny and creamy, light and easily absorbed and with a smooth feel and they allow the incorporation of any type of oil, even of high polarity. The gelling activity of the watery phase can be obtained with hydrosolvatables polymers or with an emulsifier that is able to form an organized reticular structure, and allows to substitute waxy substances not more in tuning with the modern conception of the W/O emulsions, wish is preferred to be fresh and light, not impacted, smooth and easy to spread.

REINOLDERM OLV 9, INCI name=Sorbitan Olivate, consents the employment of any type of lipids, apolar or polar, without particular final differences and it reveals such properties to can be used in those cosmetic preparations where are required:

• The formation of a structure stable at cold or in warm temperatures.

• A formulating versatility.

• Facility and quickness of production.

REINOLDERM OLV 9 helps to:

• Make rich, nutritive W/O creams and lotions for sensitive skin

• Disperse homogeneously physical filters in sun products, skin protection from UV

• Keep skin protected from sun even in water (water resistance)

• Improve brilliance in make up products

• Reduce lip dryness caused by lipstick 


This product, based on olive oil, is able to form particularly fresh and light O/W emulsions that are pleasantly velvety to the touch and enriched with the eudermic functional properties of precious Italian olive oil. The INCI name is: Cetearyl Glucoside (and) Sorbitan Olivate. Very small quantities of REINOLDERM OLV 10 are sufficient to emulsify oils and other lipophile ingredients. It is possible to obtain stable emulsions that are easily water able and that offer moisturizing and emollient properties and a pleasant light and silky sensation even when they contain large quantities of oily substances.

REINOLDERM OLV 10 responds to the current market trends by offering a natural, pure, non-animal-tested product with outstanding properties, whilst retaining its skin-feel benefits of smoothness and lightness with excellent spreadability. The product functions are self-emulsifying, self-bodying oil-in-water emulsifier offering distinct technical advantages:

A wide range of cosmetics oils, including mineral, vegetable and silicone oils, can be used without affecting the stability of the emulsion.

Creams and milks can be produced by simply adjusting the emulsifier concentration.

The product is composed by very mild surfactants. Human patch tests have shown that the blend does not cause skin or eye irritation and no sensitising potential of the components has been demonstrated.

Emulsions created with REINOLDERM OLV 10 have notable stability at high or low temperatures and good resistance to water thanks to the formation of a hydrophobic film on the surface.

REINOLDERM OLV 10 is free of chemical impurities, solvents, ethylene oxide and dioxane. The emulsification energy input should be checked so as not to destroy the liquid crystalline phase. It is a flexible ‘single’ oil-in-water emulsifier that permits the production of both creams and milks without needing an additional hydrophilic ethoxylated ‘co-emulsifier’. The percentage of use of REINOLDERM OLV 10 is 3 - 4% in milks or lotions and in creams 4-6% depending on the oil volume and characteristic. 


From a chemical point of view, olive oil is a lipid that mainly contains triglycerides, oleic acid (monounsaturated) by majority and many other acids, some saturates (palmitic, stearic, arachidic), and other monounsaturated (palmitoleic, gadoleic, erucic), as well as a fraction of polyunsaturated (linoleic and linolenic). The small fraction of fatty acids present in the oil are in a free form and are responsible for the typical acidity of the oil.

Notwithstanding the presence of a considerable fraction of unsaturated (as can be seen in the table), olive oil has the benefit of resisting to spontaneous oxidation better than other vegetal oils (such as soya, sunflower, corn and peanut). It also resists well to thermal degradation, even when exposed to very high temperatures, as in frying for example: the smoking point for olive oil is much higher (210°C) than with respect to that of the previously mentioned oils (from 130 to 180°C).

NEOMIN DOV is an ester derivated from olive oil that exhibit interesting functional and rheological properties. It has excellent emollient and lubricating properties, it is not too greasy, thick or tacky, easy to spread and gives a pleasant appearance to creams and oily products.

The INCI name of NEOMIN DOV is Decyl Olivate. This product is an emollient and skin conditioning agent with excellent solvent and carrier properties.

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