Beheneth 10 – The Quizzical Emulsifier
There are very few officially qualified organic emulsifiers on the market today. And, even though an emulsifier usually amounts to less than 10% of a product, it is the emulsifier that is most often the reason I am not able to call a product of mine 100% organic.
Beheneth 10 (INCI: beheneth 10) is among these 'not quite organic' ingredients.
A Complicated ProductionAccording to the description from my supplier, beheneth 10 is produced by 'combining natural, raw materials and treating them with chemicals or synthetic raw materials.' The end product is a semi-opaque, waxy, sticky substance that functions (beautifully) as an emulisfier for oil-rich lotions and serums.
It is most definitely plant-based, but the closest I can get to answering "what's it made from" is that it is sourced from 'vegetable' oils. Needless to say, my research on this ingredient is ongoing.
Why Not 100% Organic?Meantime, one could ask, why not just use the emulsifier that is 100% organic? Well, I do – for all of my creams, cleansers, and any product that is more hydrosol-rich than oil-rich.
Unfortunately, the 100% organic emulsifier at my disposal won't work in any product that is more oil-rich than hydrosol-rich. This means creating a thick lotion or semi-fluid serum wouldn't be possible without beheneth 10.
No Health HazardsBeheneth 10 is effective, harmless (has never been detected in human tissue or urine) and does not raise any health concerns on any of the 'cosmetics ingredients watchguard lists'.
I have therefore forgiven it for not being 100% organic and will continue to use it in my products.
The ConundrumI have seen Beheneth-10 listed on commercial creams that claim to be 100% organic.
Now, I realize an INCI name is not a tell-all about the ingredient and won't reveal the source of the product (for example, Squalane can be both plant and animal based), nor will it tell about production methods.
It does, however, seem a bit odd to me that the industry could/would have cornered the market on organic Beheneth-10, leaving the rest of us to make do with a non-organic variety. Somehow, that doesn't make sense to me. Surely it isn't allowed to advertise and label a product as 100% organic unless it actually is? Are they forgetting to count the emulsifier? If so, someone should really tell them that's cheating!
Read more about emulsifiers in "The Perfect Texture"