Olive oil and cosmetics


In the opening 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 use in the cosmetic industry.

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. 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 derivatives mentioned 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.

Lipidic component in creams, fusions and oily products.



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.



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.