Incorporating vegetable oil into a shampoo

Hi all. I'm looking for a simple method for dispersing or solubilizing a vegetable oil into a traditional surfactant (sulfate/sultaine/amide) system. I cannot use a rheology modifier.


  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Why vegetable oil?
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • If you need to use vegetable oil for marketing reasons you have to add PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor oil or tween - 20 (approximate percentage 0.8%) to make a clear emulsion with the oil and do not use more than 0.15% of the oil. Since you don't use thickeners or reology modifiers increase the amide percentage to around 4-5% if the sultaine/sulfate mix is at around 15-18%.

    I wouldn't use vegetable oil at all. Instead if you need emolliency use PEG-7 or PEG-6 which are readily soluble and light.
  • Here's a formula from Innospec that includes 10% Canola oil.  It is for a body wash but you might be able to get some ideas from this.


    Sulfate-free Body Wash
    Posted: February 15, 2012 10:05 AM CST

    Application: Bath/Shower

    This body wash (AC125) is a mild, sulfate-free facial cleanser featuring sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate and sodium methyl cocoyl taurate to product a dense, creamy lather upon application. The guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride imparts a soft, elegant feel to the skin and also helps improve foam quality. The guar gum and the cocamide MEA thicken this formulation and help stabilize the foam. The C12-15 alkyl benzoate acts as a mild solubilizing agent to gently remove soils from the skin as well as to provide conditioning

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    Phase A
    Water (aqua) QS to 100% 0.0%
    Phase B
    Sodium Chloride 4.0%
    Phase C
    Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride ( Activsoft C-17 , Innospec) 0.2%
    Phase D
    Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate 7.5%
    Phase E
    Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate ( Pureact WS Conc. , Innospec) 7.5%
    Phase F
    Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum ( Activsoft S , Innospec) 0.5%
    Glycerin 1.0%
    Phase G
    Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate ( Iselux LQ-CLR , Innospec) 30.0%
    Phase H
    Cocamide MEA ( Aminol CM Flakes , Innospec) 3.5%
    Phase I
    Cocamidopropyl Betaine 10.0%
    Phase J
    Canola Oil 10.0%
    C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate ( Finsolv TN , Innospec) 2.0%
    Phase K
    Preservatives QS 0.0%
    Dyes QS 0.0%
    Fragrance (parfum) QS 0.0%
    Phase L
    Citric Acid QS 0.0%
    Formula Procedure

    Dissolve B in A. With smooth mechanical agitation, slowly blend C into AB. Mix until completely dispersed and uniform. Slowly blend D into system. Mix until uniform. Warm system to 40-45ºC with smooth mechanical agitation. Slowly blend E into heated system and mix until completely dissolved. In a separate mixing vessel, combine F. Mix into a soft slurry that is completely uniform. Slowly blend F into batch and mix until uniform. Slowly blend G into system. Mix until uniform. Slowly blend H into system. Mix until uniform. Remove heat. Slowly blend I into system. Mix until uniform. In a separate mixing vessel, combine J with mixing. Add J into batch with smooth agitation. Add compatible K to batch. 11 Adjust pH of system to 5.0-5.6 with L solution (50% aq.) as required. The system should thicken noticeably with the pH adjustment. Mix for at least 30 min to reach final consistency.
  • The vegetable oil is, in fact, for marketing purposes. Thanks for the tips, manstra. Unfortunately, the Innospec formulation uses guar gum, which I need to avoid.
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