Save the date for SCC78!


Formulating with Natural Oils and Butters for the Cosmetics Industry: Technical Background and Best Practices

Course Overview

Why choose one oil over another in a particular cosmetic product?  Why are oils liquid and butters semi-solid?  What are the compositional differences between oils and butters?  Why are some oils more stable than others?  Why do some butters have higher melt points than others?

This course will answer these questions and many more, allowing you to make well-informed, strategic choices for your formulations.

Focus will be put on how the structure of fatty acids composing the triglycerides of oils and butters determine the interdependent properties of oxidative stability, compatibility, solid fat content, and crystallization.  We will examine how these properties then inform our choices of oils, butters, and their derivatives within different personal care and cosmetic products, including anhydrous and emulsion-based products.  Further, you will learn how to use different methods of analysis to classify different oils and butters according to their suitability for certain applications.

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, most 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.

Note: the SCC is currently planning a two-day classroom/laboratory version of this course, which will take place in the Los Angeles, California area in Summer 2023. If you would prefer to participate in the two-day version of the course with a hands-on lab, you may want to wait until we annouce details and open registration for that course. 


Early Bird (Expires 04/17/2023)

  • $390 - SCC Member
  • $520 - Non-Member
  • $240 – SCC Junior or Student Member


  • $440 - SCC Member
  • $570 - Non-Member
  • $265 – SCC Junior or Student Member

Instructor: Benjamin Schwartz

Format: In-Person

Monday, May 1, 2023 
(9:00am - 5:00pm ET)

During NYSCC Suppliers' Day


Jacob Javits Center 
429 11th Ave
New York, NY 10001

Read the Javits Center Safety Protocols.


This course will take place on May 1, 2023, the day before the NYSCC Suppliers' Day Exhibition Show (May 2-3, 2023). You can register for this course by selecting it as an add-on option during the regular registration process for NYSCC Suppliers' Day.

Note: companies registering 5+ SCC members for this course receive $25 off per registration. Companies registering 10+ SCC members for this course receive $50 off per registration. Discounted group registrations need to occur during the same online transaction. If you would like to submit a group registration of 5+ or 10+, or have any other questions about this event, please contact SCC Headquarters Staff.

Registration price includes breakfast and lunch, as well as a selection of coffee and other beverages throughout the day. View our CEP Course Pricing and Refund Policy.

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 the stability of oils and butters.
  • Iodine Value and Oil Stability Index testing (OSI), determination of relative stability of oils/fats, use of testing for determining stability of finished products.
  • Chemical process of oxidation, with focus on antioxidant mechanisms of preventing degradation and rancidity.
  • Comparison of native antioxidants and added antioxidants.
  • Formulation strategies using the Iodine Value of different oils as a guide to stability.
  • Mitigation of instability via antioxidant additives in skin care and cosmetics, comparing functional levels of inclusion, synergies of antioxidant combinations.

Triglyceride composition, solid 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 butters then determine their unique SFC profiles.
  • Examples of how counter-intuitive differences in SFC curves impacts different butters in different applications.
  • Formulation strategies for leveraging the physical characteristics of particular oils and butters

Crystallization and the molecular structure of triglycerides:

  • Molecular structure of various lipid crystals, polymorphic behavior, x-ray crystallography analysis
  • Incompatibility of different oils and butters due to unique triglyceride compositions.
  • Eutectics, how incompatibility can alter the final melt point of an oil/butter blend.
  • Blending butters and oils in anhydrous products and emulsions to ensure stability and uniformity.

Oils, butters, waxes, emulsifiers, other lipids 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 oils and butters compared to native skin lipids.
  • Emulsions and natural oils, advantages and disadvantages, formulations strategies, updating legacy formulas that contain synthetics.
  • Vegetable oil derived fatty acid-based emulsifiers, how their structure determines functionality, molecular structure and the HLB system.

About the Instructor

Benjamin Schwartz


Starting his career with the Estée Lauder, Benjamin has spent 20 years as an R&D Chemist working in personal care and cosmetic innovation.  Managing the R&D lab for a Bay Area contract manufacturer he oversaw product formulation and scale up for a variety of startups, independents, and global brands.  Currently a Customer Innovation Manager for AAK, an international raw material supplier focused on plant-based lipids, he supports the technical and regulatory demands of the world’s largest personal care and cosmetic companies.