Safflower Oleosomes and Why we love them!

Written by: | September 25, 2017 | 22 responses

What are Safflower Oleosomes?

Oleosomes are the result of millions of years of plant evolution. They are the little protector of the seed’s energy source: oil. Seeds use this important energy source for the germination process, so protecting the oil until needed for germination is critical to the survival of the plant as a species. Oleosomes are naturally occurring in most seeds and nuts and protect the oils and vitamin E by encapsulating them in a phospholipid and protein reservoir.

What function do Safflower Oleosomes have in beauty products?

  • Lasting Moisturizing – Because of the encapsulation system of Safflower Oleosomes, they release their contents as they come into contact with hair and skin. Since not all of the Oleosomes collapse at once, they deliver emollient oil and Vitamin E to hair and skin over time for long-lasting moisture.
  • Natural Emulsifier – Safflower Oleosomes are a natural, mild emulsifier perfect for skin and hair care formulations calling for a high percentage of oil ingredients. It’s also an effective alternative to using Polysorbate in natural formulations.
  • Holds Fragrance – Safflower Oleosomes help to prolong essential oils and fragrances in formulations for lasting scent profiles.
  • Stability – The spherical structure and primary function of Safflower Oleosomes make it a stable ingredient in a wide range of conditions over extended periods of time.

How do I use Safflower Oleosomes in my Formulations?

  • Viscosity – When using Safflower Oleosomes as a primary emulsifier, include thickening agents to ensure the viscosity of your finished product is more viscous than water or over 9000 cps (Brookfield spindle 2) for optimal stability.
  • Shear – Limit shear to <500 rpm – the low setting on most stick blenders when adding to the oil phase in order to concentrate the Oleosomes. Once the water phase is added, increase shear up to 3000 rpm or high on your stick blender.
  • Temperature –  Temperatures of up to 131°F are fine for Safflower Oleosomes. Temperatures from 131°F to 176°C are acceptable for up to one hour. Safflower Oleosomes are stable in freeze/thaw states in most formulations; however, the raw ingredient should not be frozen.
  • pH Range – Effective at pH of 3.5 – 9.
  • Alcohol – Safflower Oleosomes are effective in high alcohol content formulations.
  • Surfactants – Most surfactant systems are compatible, however, avoid harsh anionics such as Sodium Laurel Sulfate. Use mild surfactant systems (betaines, glucosides, SLES) or structured surfactants. Premix with your Fragrance or Essential Oil to prevent separation. No need to add synthetic emulsifiers such as PEGs or Polysorbates!
  • Preservatives – Most preservatives are compatible, however, avoid protein cross-linkers such as DMDM hydantoin.
  • Emulsification – Safflower Oleosomes have an HLB (Hydrophile-Lipophile Balance) range of 5-15, with an optimal range of 8-13. When using as a primary emulsifier, typical use levels are 3%-7%. Use thickeners to increase viscosity and limit high shear mixing to 10 minutes. Add water phase to oil phase slowly.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions. You can comment with your questions directly on this blog or contact us at or (866)-252-9639

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