decyl glucoside, coco glucoside, and lauryl glucoside surfactants

I am curious to know what ingredients are actually used to make the above surfactants and what the manufacturing process is.

I have played around with these surfactants in all of my (as close to nature recipes) personal care and home care products, but I have these niggling questions: are they really safe.........can they really be considered natural or plant based......... how close or far away from nature are they really, and do they contain traces of toxins that are left over from the manufacturing process?

I have started to make my own castile soap as one alternative, it gives me piece of mind to know exactly how its made and whats going into my products.


  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    they are produced by reacting glucose (from corn starch) with fatty alcohols (from coconut and/or palm oil); whether or not you consider them natural depends on how you define the term 'natural'
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • They are plant based, keep in mind that plant based doesn't mean natural, and natural doesn't mean safe.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited November 2017
    Since "natural" has no legal definition, anything could be natural. However, many people will use a baseline of "plant based or naturally occurring minerals minimally processed." Keep in mind that most "natural" raw materials are not suitable in their initial form to be incorporated into a Formulation.

    Keep in mind that if you have ever cooked a material, you processed it and made it less "natural." Beer is synthesized and not "natural" but nobody seems to have an issue with that. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Regardless of any Standards, you may wish to know that these glucosides' skin irritation index declines with higher alkyl homolog length. E.g. "coco-" is safer then "decyl".
  • you could look at the ingredients of Dr Bronners castile soap. Really lovely stuff.  Quillajah Extract is plant sourced.
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