Cosmetic Formulating Basics – Body Wash

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Body Wash

Body wash is a product designed to remove dirt and odors from skin. They have taken the place of bar soap in many markets and typically require a wash cloth or poof for application.

What body washes do

Body wash is a liquid product that is applied to a wash cloth or poof which is then moved over the skin surface. As it is spread around it generates foam and helps lift dirt and oils off the skin surface. When rinsed away, the product takes dirt and oil with it leaving skin clean and feeling soft and smooth.

How body wash works

The functional ingredients in a body wash are detergents (surfactants). Generally, anionic surfactants are used. These ingredients are composed of molecules that have portions which are compatible with both oil and water. The oil loving (lipophilic) ends orient themselves with the oil particles while the water loving (hydrophilic) ends orient towards teh water. Oil particles are then surrounded by surfactant molecules and lifted off the surface where they can be rinsed away.

Secondary surfactants are also used to impact the foam characteristics along with the viscosity of the formula. They can also make the formula less irritating.

Examples of ingredients that make body washes work include Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine and Cocamide MEA

Body wash formula

Body washes are typically solutions and most often clear. They are slightly thickened liquids with a pH around 6-7. Other ingredients are included to impact the aesthetics of the product.

Below is an example of a typical body wash formula.*body_wash_formula


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