Ethyl oleate is the ester of ethanol and oleic acid (C18:1). This vegetable-based, non-animal origin ingredient has applications in many skincare and pharmaceutical formulas and offers multiple functional benefits. It is a liquid at 25°C with a refractive index of 1.45 and a specific gravity of 0.87.
It's a non-occlusive emollient with good spreading, lipophilic (oil-soluble), and an excellent color profile. In addition, thanks to low viscosity, Ethyl oleate allows manufacturers to control the consistency of formulas with fixed oils and a greasy feel.
Ethyl oleate is an excellent solvent for active ingredients in ointments, creams, and lotions. It can serve as an excipient in transdermal delivery systems while enhancing penetration levels of active ingredients. This ester is effective as a vehicle or diluent for many active and inactive ingredients and is suitable for mineral or vegetable oil replacement.
In addition to its excellent solvent properties, Ethyl oleate has very low reactivity with chemically sensitive skincare actives. Furthermore, as an emollient, it is non-occlusive and forms films that spread well. The spreading and emollient properties of Ethyl oleate may, therefore, benefit from improving both the aesthetics and applicational properties of many creams.