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 Production

According 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 Hazards

Beheneth 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 Conundrum

I 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"


Rikke said…
Hej Lise

Nu er jeg ved at undersøge, hvordan jeg kan bruge beheneth-10, i min næste cremefremstilling.

Utroligt irriterende, at andre anfører, at deres produkter er 100% (hvis de ikke er) økologiske, når du ikke kan. Jeg har stor respekt for din ærlighed. Jeg har også svært ved at se, hvordan de skulle have fået fremstillet emulgatoren økoloigsk, men man skal selvfølgelig ikke udlukke det.

kh Rikke
LisaLise said…
Ja, det er noget jeg faktisk har været igang med at undersøge over en længere periode. Så rammer man et mur, kan ikke komme videre, og må tag det op igen senere. Jeg er i disse dage i fuld gang med at gennemgå mine informationer for at se om ikke jeg kan komme videre med dette.

Og MANGE TAK for dine flotte kommentarer om min ærlighed! Jeg forsøger da altid at være det :)
dizzi said…
Dear Lisa, i make my own cosmetics, for friends and family. I am using beheneth 10 for a lovely creamy cleanse but i just realised that my supplier (aromantic, UK) states this is derived from mineral oil :(
I would really like my products to be free of mineral oil derivatives, so i am wondering if you would be so kind to let me know where you source your beheneth 10 from? If i can get the vegetable oil-derived one that would be fantastic! Many thanks in advance, Diana
LisaLise said…
HI Dizzi - thanks for your question. I'm afraid you are going to be a bit disappointed, because I pretty much stopped using beheneth 10 a couple of years ago. Like you, my supplier was Aromantic. At the time I used it, they wrote that it was vegetable based. Perhaps they had to find a new supplier or something. I switched to using self-emulsifying waxes a while back. The one I use at the moment is 'Olive emulsifier' This is a 'cocktail of ingredients: : Potassium hydrolyzed wheat protein olivoyl, cetearyl alcohol, glyceryl oleate, glyceryl stearate, potassium hydroxide.

The French company Aroma Zone sells it. You will find it here.

best of luck!