Cosmetics use Hydrogenated Lecithin (Lecinol S-10) as an emulsifier and skin conditioner. It is extracted mechanically or chemically with solvents such as hexane, ethanol, acetone, petroleum ether, or benzene.
Lecithin is partially soluble in water but readily hydrates to form emulsions. The oil-free phosphatides are soluble in fatty acids but not with fixed oils.
When all fractions of phosphatidylcholine are present, they are primarily soluble in alcohol but not in acetone. It is more stable than regular lecithin and promotes cellular metabolism. It is yellow-brown in pigment and has a “fishy” smell. Those from a soy lecithin basis have moisturizing properties for cosmetic pigments and act as nonsurfactant suspending agents.