Olivatic 12C – a water in oil emulsifier

Nov 28, 2022 | Ingredients

Olivatis 12C


Olivatis 12C is a water in oil emulsifier which promotes liquid crystal formations in the lotions. It is a vegan emulsifier that is made from palm free glycerine and olive oil fatty acids.

This emulsifier comes in different names – manufacturer refers to it as Olivatis 12C, while the supplier that I know named it Olive protection nr.2. The INCI of this emulsifier is Olive oil polyglyceryl-6 esters, Polyglyceryl-6 pentaoleate. 


Emulsions made with this emulsifier have a shiny surface, though does not leave a shiny appearance once applied to the skin. Upon application the skin feels fresh and light, though the spreading ability of lotions is not so good.

Lotions made with Olive protection nr.2 give a protective layer to the skin which I really like. And they are not greasy or sticky, though it does depend on the used oils and butters.

It is a broad range emulsifier (does not need a co-emulsifier) that could be used with carrier oils, esters and waxes. The lipid phase should be around 15-30% of the whole formulation when the ratio of emulsifier to oils is 1:4-1:5.



This is a checklist with essential equipment for making DIY cosmetics to help you get everything you really need.

Olivatis 12C

INCI Olive oil polyglyceryl-6 esters, Polyglyceryl-6 pentaoleate
Function W/O Emulsifier
Type Non-ionic, W/O emulsifier, non-ethoxylated promoting liquid crystal formation
Origin Derived from palm free vegetable glycerine and fatty acids from olive oil
Appearance Viscous, a bit cloudy yellow liquid
Scent Does not have any scent
HLB ~6
Usage rate Used in a ratio of 1:4-1:5 to oils. The lipid phase should be in 15-30% range
Saponification value 170-200
Solubility Oil
Other Criteria Vegan
Method Could be used cold or hot process (up to 80 °C/ 176 °F)
Thickening With waxes. The higher the oil phase, the lower the viscosity.

2. How to work with olivatis 12c?

The procedure is very important to this emulsifier. Things that matter:

  1. Emulsifier can be used in a cold process or hot process.
  2. Water phase should be added very slowly in order to have a stable emulsion.
  3. Water phase should contain all ingredients BEFORE emulsification as it is not possible to add something afterwards.
  4. Preservative should be added BEFORE emulsification as adding it after may lead to less effective preservation.
  5. pH should be adjusted BEFORE emulsification as it is not possible to do this afterwards.
  6. And probably the most important factor is HIGH SHEAR. And I really mean it. This emulsifier really needs a lot of power to blend water and oil phases together. So, blend your phases for a longer amount of time. Mix everything well, give a good stir with a spatula between water addition.

I would say that better results would be achieved using professional equipment as blenders may not be up to the task.

To test the viscosity and emulsion stability I have made two lotions with the same formula, the only difference was shear. One was made with low shear (just using my hand) and the other was made using a stick blender for 10-15 minutes. 

And the results between these two lotions were massive. The lotion stirred only by hand was quite thin and runny while lotion made with stick blender was a viscous lotion. You can see the difference here (TikTok).

If the lotion is made via hot process method, then the water phase should also be hot and of the same temperature as oil phase.


3. How to change viscosity of lotions?

Viscosity of emulsions made with Olivatis 12C can be varied in several ways.

  • If you want to have a more viscous lotion or cream, aim for 15% of the oil phase. This gives the highest viscosity for the emulsions.
  • Another way to make a more viscous lotion is to use waxes such as rice bran wax, myrica fruit wax, cetyl palmitate and other thickeners. I haven‘t tested fatty alcohols, but it should work well. However, gums will not really work here, so they are not required in the formula.
  • Usually, viscosity can be increased with higher amounts of glycols in the formula. So, it may be not neccesary to use other thickeners.
  • One more way to have a thicker lotion is to use 10-15% of magnesium stearate – this was suggested by the supplier. They also suggest mixing everything by hand, though Olive protection nr.2 needs high sheer. This is why I don‘t really recommend adding a lot of magnesium stearate and mixing it by hand.

Also, I have seen that after a while lotions with high amount of magnesium stearate tend to dry out. I mean that if I don‘t use the lotion and it just sits in a closed jar, it will get a drier top. Which shows, that there is some kind of instability in the emulsion.


However, if you still want to try adding higher amounts of magnesium stearate, you should know that it will increaase the viscosity by a lot and you will get a very thick rich cream.

Using magnesium stearate gives a bit of white cast on the face in the beginning, but it should be fine in several minutes. Also, magnesium stearate has a lot of gripping power, so the spreading of the lotion with it will be worse.

4. Emulsifier and powders

Olivatis 12C is an effective powder dispersant – it can be used with talc, kaolin clay and even coloured powders such as iron oxides and lakes.

Powders that are soluble in water should be added to the water phase and powders that are not soluble in water should be added to the oil phase. It is worth to note, that products made with this emulsifier will be water resistant (so will be make up, if you are thinking of making it).

5. Incompatibility

This emulsifier is compatible with almost all ingredients. Though it is not compatible with O/W emulsifying ingredients such as cetrimonium chloride as they can destroy the structure of emulsion.

6. What can be made with OLIVATIS 12C?

  • W/O lotions or W/S (water in silicones)

  • Waterproof make up (good for dispersing powders)

  • Sunscreens (I don‘t recommend making a sunscreen on your own, this is really an advanced formulation. I have included this for informational reasons and maybe you will see that your sunscreen has this ingredient as well.)


Unfortunately I have only found one place where to buy Olive protection nr.2. However, it does not mean it is not sold anywhere else. It could be that your local supplier has it or it has another name. So, try to look for it using INCI.


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