Help with self-emulsifying solid conditioner formulation

Hello,
I am currently trying to formulate a solid conditioner tablet, and I am struggling to have the conditioner "give off" sufficient matter. My concept is to create a tablet that gives off matter when rubbed under warm water, without depositing or removing anything, and that I could tune with a cationic or any conditioning ingredient.

I try to limit the amount of surfactants (the ones that create foam, not the surfactants in the broadest sense) to avoid having a product which removes matter, the aim of a conditioner being to deposit rather than to remove. The problem is that most common constituents of solid conditioners seem to be hydrophobic, so the tablet without surfactants almost doesn't react with water, and hardly gives off any matter. Lowering the melting point could maybe be a strategy, but I would love to have sufficient temperature stability, like in the 10-40 degrees C).

The first strategy I started with is to use a emulsifier able to easily emulsify in contact with water, like the ones used for "gel/oil to milk" concepts. I tried Polyglyceryl-4 oleate (PG4O) (the one with a HLB of 4-6) and Sucrose stearate (SS) (with HLB 15), that I could easily source, and my other considered constituents are fatty alcohols, butters, solid esters and solid emulsifiers, but I couldn't get any clear success. The PG4O gives water-in-oil emulsions which are rather hydrophobic, and SS doesn't emulsify easily enough to create a easy-to-use solid conditioner. Of course, I'd like to create a product that I don't have to rub for half an hour before using it.

Is there an emulsifier that I could use for this purpose ? Are there other usable ingredients for this concept that would be suitable, and that would not strip out the cationic ingredient that I deposit ?

I precise that I have seen many formulations online but they all seem to have this problem, for example Skinchakra formulations are loaded of plant waxes (that I don't want on my hair), and many of them contain large amounts of plant oils/butters that I suspect would make the tablet quite hydrophobic as well.

I have a preference for "natural" ingredients, not from a ideological point of view, but because I would like to use an ingredient that I can easily source from European small brands repackers, most of them being "natural"-oriented. I precise that I have no definition of natural (I admit it makes no sense). Also, most people interested in solid cosmetics seem to be natural-bio lovers, so for marketing I think it makes sense.

Thank you for reading me so far ! If I omitted an information, feel free to mention it. If solid conditioner for any reason make no sense/ are a microbiological danger, feel free to share your feeling, I would love to have feedbacks on tat as well. Below, you can find a KISS formulation that I consider as a starting point :

PG4O : 45%
Cetearyl alcohol 50-50 : 45%
Sucrose stearate : 10%

This formulation reacts slightly with water, is quite hydrophobic but is fine in terms of skin feel, general aspect and hardness.

Signed, your favorite formulator wannabe :)

Ps : Even if that product never reaches market, I would sleep easier if I could get over this  :D

Comments

  • SylSyl Member
    You need a cationic surfactant like BTMS to make a solid conditioner.
    I agree, cationic surfactants are not natural, but they are necessary. Not having a cationic conditioner in your formula is the equivalent of trying to condition your hair with lotion. 
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    Agreed with @Syl. Cationic surfactant remain in hair after rinsing. Above formula is only emulsifiers that will emulsify hair and scalp oil and remove it when rinsing and make the hair drier. That is my opinion. 
  • I think the same, and you can get easily BTMS from any european small brand repacker (al least from spanish repackers).

    I'm not an expert in conditioners and have not tried this (but I'd like), maybe you can add some cationic guar (not so easy to find) to give some creaminess to the emulsified product, I think It would be nicer to use. 
  • Hello, and thank you for your answers !
    I may have expressed myself poorly, I don't have trouble finding/sourcing cationic materials, and I intend to integrate them into my formulation at some point.

    What I consider the challenge of a solid conditioner is to have a large number of optimized properties (appearence, matter "give off", hardness, wet/dry combing properties, skin/hair feel during use, ...; I identified more than 20 of them). At the moment I can make a conditioner with every box checked with the exception of the matter give-off, that's why I am asking for your help on that point.

    The current challenge is to exactly create a "lotion bar" with no effect on hair, neither removing or depositing matter on the hair. Then the second part of the formulation process would be to integrate the cationic ingredient, that could be a quat, btms, or anything cationic, and make tests for the conditioning properties. This two-steps process would give me the guarantee to solve my main issue, not having to rub the conditioner for minutes while showering.

    Unless I misunderstood you and the ingredient that gives off matter in most solid conditioner is actually the cationic amulsifier ? If so, I haven't had any success by using btms 50/Aminosensyl HC/CosmeGreen ES1822+ so far, for the exact same reason as above.

    Thank you for your future advices !



  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    edited April 3
    You said a lot of things and that makes it confusing. 

    Do you want to make solid conditioner? 

    If yes then use 25% cationic surfactant+ 75% fatty alcohol. That makes a good solid conditioner. You can add other oil soluble ingredient in place of some fatty alcohol if you want.
  • SylSyl Member
    I would include cationics from the beginning.
    Below is a start up formulation from Innospec.

     A Cetearyl Alcohol Laurex® CS (Innospec) 63.5 A
    Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol BTMS 225KC (Chemtec) 25.0 A
     Behentrimonium Chloride BTAC 228KC (Chemtec) 5.0 B
    Butyrospermum Parkii Butter Shea Butter 2.0 B
    Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter Cocoa Butter 2.0 C
    Propoxytetramethyl Piperidinyl Dimethicone Dimethisil® HNH-LV (Innospec) 1.5 C
    Fragrance Daisy Chain (IFF) 1.0

    1. Add Cetearyl Alcohol to main vessel and begin heating to 65°C. 2. Once melted, begin moderate mixing. 3. Slowly add BTMS 225KC and BTAC 228KC while maintaining the temperature at 65°C. 4. Begin melting Phase B in a separate vessel and heat to 65°C. 5. Once melted and at temperature, add to Phase A. Mix until homogenous. 6. Remove from heat and add the Dimethisil® HNH-LV and fragrance. 7. Mix until completely homogenous and then pour into molds.
  • SylSyl Member
    Also, unlike engineering and physics, chemistry is like cooking. You do not want to test your ingredients separately or in small groups unless you are doing QC. All basic functional ingredients need to be present in your starter formula to be able to test it and make modifications accordingly. Cationic surfactants are necessary functional ingredients to make conditioner, just like you would not try to learn how to make tomato soup without having tomatoes and liquid in your pot. :)
  • Syl said:
     A Cetearyl Alcohol Laurex® CS (Innospec) 63.5 A
    Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol BTMS 225KC (Chemtec) 25.0 A
     Behentrimonium Chloride BTAC 228KC (Chemtec) 5.0 B
    Butyrospermum Parkii Butter Shea Butter 2.0 B
    Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter Cocoa Butter 2.0 C
    Propoxytetramethyl Piperidinyl Dimethicone Dimethisil® HNH-LV (Innospec) 1.5 C
    Fragrance Daisy Chain (IFF) 1.0

    Maybe you can replace some of your cetearyl alcohol with a high HLB waxy emulsifier blend (Montanov 202, Montanov 68, Xyliance...). This should help to easily form an emulsion.
  • Thanks, I'll try to use something else than my good old bottom-up approach hahaha. It's a shame though, that you can't isolate properties of a formulation and tune them independantly from each other (but of course it would make no sense in an emulsion for example, or for a tomato soup).

    Even though it's uncommon, isn't there a possibility to create such a "neutral" ineffective conditioner and make it a proper conditioner from it by adding a small amount (<1%) of something like Polyquaternium-7 ? I've learned my lesson, I'm just trying to figure out why this wouldn't work, or why this approach is flawed ;)
  • SylSyl Member
    Polyquats are water soluble, usually not compatible with a fat soluble bar (the bar itself is not an emulsion). In a traditional conditioner they are hydrated in the water phase before mixing with oil phase to create an emulsion.
    I have never seen them used in a conditioner bars. In traditional conditioners, they are always used in combination with cationic surfactants, their effect is much milder.

    Polyquats are used in shampoo bars, and I use them, but lately I have been wondering about their effectiveness in bars because they are not hydrated first. I should do a knock off experiment.

    I am not a cosmetic chemist, I have a biochem degree.
    My take is that the majority of currently available ingredients were developed for use in traditional shampoos and conditioners. When making bars you are in a way repurposing those ingredients. 
     
    I usually start with a very basic formula that works (follow the crowd, read product labels made by professionals) then modify; remove and add ingredients, decrease and increase concentrations to understand their effects. Keep experimenting!  :)

     

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