DIY Rapamycin skin cream

Because of the research suggesting rapamycin can slow/reverse skin aging: Rapamycin May Slow Skin Aging (Drexel U. Study)

I felt like a mad scientist putting everything together but pulled together a lot of info from this site and others and produced my own topical cream this morning.

Procure your materials. Everything displayed purchased from Amazon except the generic Transcutol which I got from Lab Alley (and the Rapa, the quality Zydus product from trustworthy Pravin at Varun Medical).

Pound it.

Prepare to dissolve it.

Mix with generic Transcutol. I am a little extra and went with Dr. G’s formulation of appx. 4x the Drexel “guess”; 6 mg rapa in 1.7 oz. of my traditional Olay eye cream.

After I poured the mixture into the Olay bottle, I poured a similar amount of Transcutol into the test tube and shook it up and added the dregs to the Olay to put all rapa to work. I was really worried about getting it all mixed in a manner consistent with what you would get from a compounding pharmacy and used the little Badger paint mixer to make it happen. Worked like a charm.

Sources for items shown above:


Measuring Cylinder / Testtube

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Great post! Good photos too. I know how you feel, i have done something similar but started with the raw powder.


Did you have any issues with unpowdered portions of the tablets? My tablets almost seem to have a “skin” that doesn’t crush easily, so I get a couple of annoying little white flakes each time I use it. I’ll try dissolving it in transcutol before adding it to the cream next time.

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This was the first time I’ve done it, and I pulverized my tablets really well before mixing with Transcutol. Everything seemed to dissolve very well; I was afraid to mix too much Transcutol for fear that it would make my eye serum too “watery”. Some folks who have crushed tablets complain that their cream feels like it has a grittiness to it but that has not been the case with me. Just enough, but not too much, Transcutol must be the key.


Hi @Methuselah,

thank you for this great info. When I went to the Lab Alley website and searched for ‘Transcutol’, I only got this link:

Is this the same as what you bought?

Also, that specific compound doesn’t appear to be for sale anywhere in Australia, but I found this:

Would this do the same job? It appears to be a solvent.

That first listing from Lab Alley is what I purchased - it works great.

The second product you listed is different and I don’t think you would want to use that. There has to be a reseller in Australia for Transcutol. Perhaps search on " Diethylene Glycol Monoethyl Ether" and see if you can find a reseller for that in Australia - same thing.

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Basil, you definitely want the Diethylene Glycol Monoethyl Ether Purified USP Grade product, which is generic Transcutol. if they have a quantity smaller than 500 mL, get it because you need very little when mixing it with rapa for the cream. You can see the brown bottle I got from Lab Alley in my photos. The other stuff you showed looks dangerous!


I know nothing of the chemistry involved here, but what is special about Transcutol in relation to rapamycin. Can you use DMSO instead as the solvent? It is used as a carrier for many many substances. The only downside of DMSO that I find is the funny (oyster) taste that accompanies it. It’s cheaper and easier to obtain.

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Soluble in DMSO at 200 mg/mL

Thanks. That seems like a lot per mL.

Maximum solubility is 200mg per ml

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ok great! Thank you:)

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Desertshores, I can’t vouch for the taste but I know Dr. Mark V. on this forum recommends DMSO as a topical cream solvent and he is much more of an authority on this issue than me. Several folks on the board are reluctant for fear that it may absorb into the skin more than necessary. That is my least concern as I’m taking 8 mg of rapa weekly with no issues except some insomnia and higher lipid levels which I address. Moreover, the Drexel U. study and the NIH recipes regarding topical cream recommend Transcutol as the solvent of choice.


Yes this (aka transcutol) is awesome. I got mine from and it was cheap and arrived fast. Rapa capsule dissolved fully into it with a magnetic stirrer, and the resulting solution mixed perfectly into CeraVe lotion, which is light and non-greasy.


@Davin8r , I visited the lotioncrafter store and entered ‘Diethylene Glycol Monoethyl Ether’ in the search box but there were no results.

Do you know if they still sell it?

They call it ethoxydiglycol. Same thing, just different way of naming the molecule from what I’ve read (though I admit I only got a C in organic chemistry).


Found it! Wow, that’s much cheaper - thank you.

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I was going to buy some compounded Rapa lotion with an Rx. Does anyone have a good supplier and recommended strength?

This was the main one I found.

Does 0.1% seem right?

I’m interested in trying it on my hands and face.

Yes, that is the concentration that was used in the Drexel University trial that strongly suggests the beneficial effect that rapa has on the skin. Dr. Green prefers an approximately 3x or 4x stronger concentration and that is how I formulated my DIY cream. If you get set up with the proper tools and ingredients and plan to use it long term, it is much cheaper making it yourself. The Drexel study indicates that it takes about 8 months for results to manifest. Here are links to check it out; you can find other info all over the Internet:


Do you have any opinions on how your rapamycin cream is working at this point?

For anyone wanting to read more detail about the Drexel University study here is a link. It still does not give the exact formula, but I found the section with this quote “A notable aspect of this study is the use of such a low dose of rapamycin (10 μM, or 0.001%)” interesting. Topical rapamycin reduces markers of senescence and aging in human skin: an exploratory, prospective, randomized trial | SpringerLink