Surfactants destroy lipid barrier

RimshahRimshah Member
edited July 2019 in Hair
I have read many articles stating that surfactants are absorbed by skin and damage the lipid barrier,  but adding the Hydrophobically modified polymers (HMPs) to the product prevent damage. I searched  about HMPs and there is a lot of material on internet depicting its harms as well. Traditional soap is also not good because of its very high pH according to some. 

Everything is very controversial on internet. Could anyone please help?

P.s. I was planning to use mild surfactants i.e. sodium cocoyl isethionate, capryl glucoside and disodium cocoamphodiacetate. 

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    What is your question?
  • RimshahRimshah Member
    edited July 2019
    Should I add HMPs to my surfactants to prevent absorption into the skin or surfactants should be used without HMPs? Which way is safer?
  • Our skin is designed to be a barrier. It is very difficult to make it absorbing anything. Formulators put a lot of effort to deliver ingredients deeper than stratum corneum (for topical medications for example). It is true than some surfactants are harsher than others, but you shouldn't be worried about skin absorbing your shampoo. It won't happen. I understand that information in the internet is extremely confusing and there is a lot of fear marketing.

    Look for reliable scientific papers, and don't read what beauty bloggers say.
    You can even formulate good product with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and it won't destroy your skin or hair.

    Skincare ingredients are highly regulated. If FDA allows it, you can be sure it's safe. Look at ingredients list of companies that sell in the US and Europe. If you an the ingredient there it must be safe.
  • Going back to your ingredients,
    sodium cocoyl isethionate:
    I like SCI but it's a solid and sometimes it misbehaves in liquid products. You definitely can melt it, but I wouldn't use it as a primary surfactant. 
    Capryl glucoside
    Haven't tried this one, but as per my experience glucosides in shampoos are awful. They tangle hair. You can use it but I am afraid you won't like the result.
     Disodium cocoamphodiacetate:
    Good one.

    You might want to replace first two. It is very easy to work with liquid Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate (it's not considered a sulfate) and Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosiante. They both can be great primary surfactants. You still can use SCI. For example the combination of Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate and SCI is used in the most of OGX shampoos. But I wouldn't go for more than 3-4% of SCI. Disodium cocoamphodiacetate is amphoteric and it will make your shampoo even milder. I would still add Polyquat 10, but it's up to you. I see some adding glycerin to shampoos but I am not persuaded it has any benefit in rinse off product.
  • smoksmok Member
    Going back to your ingredients,
    sodium cocoyl isethionate:
    I like SCI but it's a solid and sometimes it misbehaves in liquid products. You definitely can melt it, but I wouldn't use it as a primary surfactant. 
    Capryl glucoside
    Haven't tried this one, but as per my experience glucosides in shampoos are awful. They tangle hair. You can use it but I am afraid you won't like the result.
     Disodium cocoamphodiacetate:
    Good one.

    You might want to replace first two. It is very easy to work with liquid Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate (it's not considered a sulfate) and Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosiante. They both can be great primary surfactants. You still can use SCI. For example the combination of Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate and SCI is used in the most of OGX shampoos. But I wouldn't go for more than 3-4% of SCI. Disodium cocoamphodiacetate is amphoteric and it will make your shampoo even milder. I would still add Polyquat 10, but it's up to you. I see some adding glycerin to shampoos but I am not persuaded it has any benefit in rinse off product.

    what's the difference between  Polyquat 10, and 7


  • Polyquat 10 is made of hydroxyethyl cellulose and as such has some thickening properties. It is also a "stronger" conditioner than Polyquat 7. I understand that "stronger" can't be measured, so this is just my opinion based on my experience and perception.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Polyquat 10 and 7 have different polymeric backbones.  PQ10 is based on Cellulose, while PQ 7 is based on Acrylamide. 
  • @Perry, have you noticed difference in performance?
  • @ngarayeva001 As far as research is concerned, I go through sciencedirect, CIR and ewg (if having CIR as one of the resources) websites, I don't trust FDA completely. I went through a few articles on sciencedirect which claimed absorption of surfactants (sulphate only) and came up with HMPs as a solution. Thanks for your opinion, now I assume it's may not be the case with sulphate free surfactants. 

    Your experience with glusoside is very helpful for me, I would skip that now. SCI is also available in powder form, i wanted to use it because of its good cleaning, mildness and low pH. SCI powder is also difficult to work with? What's your opinion about SLSa (ecocert approved)? Only two surfactants (SLSa and DSCADA) would work well? I find your suggested anionic surfactants a bit irritant, but my research into these two surfactants is very little, I would read more about them.

    Thanks for suggesting polyquat 10, it seems great. I don't want any buildup on my scalp so I may consider adding it in my conditioner.

  • It is your decision not to trust FDA, but please don't read EWG. They are extremely biased. Their ratings are not backed by science and they are not even consistent. I am not a chemist but as far as I am aware, there is no single professional who relies on them.

    I haven't seen SCI in liquid form. I guess it must be sold in blends when you buy in bulk. If you can find it, great for you.

    Regarding irritation, have a look at both HET CAM and Zein tests. Also keep in mind that addition of amphoteric co-surfactant reduces harshness significantly.

    I used SLSa powder in shampoo bars with SCI and CAPB. I like it more than traditional SLES +CAPB combination. I think you should try it if you can find SLSa and SCI in liquid form. I just know that powdered surfactants can precipitate when used in liquid products. Liquid forms are much easier in use. Another good reason to use SLSa, it can be thickened with salt.
  • yeah I have heard that about EWG, that's why I always look at their sources. And I don't trust EWG completely either. I actually go through various sources to make an opinion. There are a lot of issues with FDA also, aspartame is only one example.

    I said SCI is available in powder form not in liquid form. I thought powder form might be easier to work with, obviously not as easy as liquid form. As I want to make liquid cleaners, I will keep in mind your suggestions. You are very helpful, thank you. :)
  • Rimshah said:
    I have read many articles stating that surfactants are absorbed by skin and damage the lipid barrier,  but adding the Hydrophobically modified polymers (HMPs) to the product prevent damage. I searched  about HMPs and there is a lot of material on internet depicting its harms as well. Traditional soap is also not good because of its very high pH according to some. 

    Everything is very controversial on internet. Could anyone please help?

    P.s. I was planning to use mild surfactants i.e. sodium cocoyl isethionate, capryl glucoside and disodium cocoamphodiacetate. 

    Do they cite an actual study?
    It looks like they're just trying to sell HMPs or products that contain it.

    Even if they cite an study, they likely left surfactants sitting on skin.
    Surfactants are meant to always be rinsed off.
    Don't believe anything you read in internet.

    Speaking of studies, read one about CAPB Cocoamidopropyl betaine actually reducing irritation. It probably works better than HMPs, and it has studies to back it.
  • Yeah, those articles were backed by scientific researches. 

    Sure, I will have a look into the study you suggested. Thank you for your suggestion!
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Perry, have you noticed difference in performance?
    I've found that PQ10 works a bit better than PQ7 but it depends on the total formulation. With the right formula adjustments you could make them work interchangeably. 
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