Article by: Perry Romanowski
Welcome to Day 19 of the 30 Days to Become a Better Cosmetic Chemist series
This 30 day challenge is all about giving you lessons and basic exercises that will improve your abilities as a cosmetic chemist.
In this episode
In today’s program we’re going to cover the basic science of one of the most important types of raw materials used in cosmetics…surfactants.
In this episode you’ll find:
- Definition of surfactants
- History of the developments of surfactants
- Why surfactants are used in cosmetics
- How surfactants work
- Four types of cosmetic surfactants
- When to use the different types of surfactants
Try a classic experiment to demonstrate the effect of a surfactant in water. It is the old pepper, water, soap experiment. To do this experiment you need to get some black pepper, a dish of water, a toothpick and a body wash, shampoo, or bar soap.
But doing the experiment is not the only part of today’s challenge. The real challenge is to see if you can figure out a way to explain what is going on. Answer a few questions. For example, why does the pepper stay on the surface of the water? And why does it move away when you expose it to a surfactant? First, explain it in a way that makes sense to you. Then see if you can come up with a way to explain it to a 10-year-old. When you’ve got that go to the show notes for today’s program and leave your explanation.