Shampoo formula stabilization

Hello,
I created my own shampoo formula and really like the results. But I am having an issue with stabilization. I'm not sure if it's because of the formula or maybe the wrong mixing tool. I do think all these ingredients are necessary to achieve the results I am happy with. I would like for my formula to be more "natural". I understand there is a lot of misinformation around that word. I just try to avoid harsh, synthetic ingredients as best as I can. Thank you for your time, Here is the formula

Phase A
.45% Guar gum
.75% Xanthan gum
4% Apple vinegar extract (10% apple cider vinegar, 1% Phenoxyethanol, 89% glycerin)
64% Water (previously infused with herbs)
.50% Tetrasodium glutamate diacetate
1% Phenoxyethanol
5% Sodium cocoyl isethionate
5% Lauryl glucoside
5% Caprylyl/Capryl glucoside

Phase B
.10% Argan oil
.15% Jojoba oil
.15% Hempseed oil
.10% Daikonseed oil
.15% Coconut oil
4% Phytomulse chlorella (Cetearyl Alcohol & Glyceryl Stearate & Chlorelleth-20)
1% Cetyl alcohol

Phase C
.75% Lactic acid (88%)
1% Synercide Asian fusion (Water & Caprylyl Glycol & Hexylene Glycol & Wasabia japonica (Wasabi) Root Extract & Zingiber officinale (Ginger) Root Extract & Allium sativum (Garlic) Bulb Extract)
1% Geogard ultra (Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate)
2% Leucidal Complete (Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate & Lactobacillus & Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract)
.05% Menthol
.05% Rosemary essential oil
.05% Peppermint essential oil
.05% Tea tree essential oil
.05% Cedarwood essential oil

Phase D
.75% Jojoba beads (Hydrogenated jojoba oil, hydrogenated castor oil)
.15% Activated charcoal powder
1% Kaolin clay
1% Green coffee bean powder
.50% Pumpkin powder

I created just phase A, then phase A+B to try to pinpoint where it goes wrong. I noticed with only phase A there is no separation until after I heat it (till about 140F). Then it appears as if the water is very slightly separating. This did not go away when I added in phase B for the next test. Am I able to stabilize this formula with only these emulsifiers/ingredients? I would like to buy anything else if possible but will have to if there is no other solution

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    The whole point of shampoo is to remove oils. So, when you put oils in the formula you simply tie up the cleansing surfactants and make the shampoo less effective.

    Additionally, the surfactants in a shampoo are not designed to emulsify and suspend oils for a long time. 

    So, if you want a stabilized formula get rid of all the oils (most of phase B).
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited April 19
    To start, your Formula is far too busy and has overlapping actives as well as multiple preservatives. You would boost your preservative system through other means. Throw away the Leucidal, it is useless. What are your total suspended solids? You may need a solubilizer to incorporate the oils as well, As far as "natural" and other marketing bs, don't sacrifice on performance. They don't make shampoo trees.
    I see upwards of 3.5% powders being added in Phase D. How are you suspending these powders?
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com 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.
  • AminaaaAminaaa Member
    Perry said:
    The whole point of shampoo is to remove oils. So, when you put oils in the formula you simply tie up the cleansing surfactants and make the shampoo less effective.

    Additionally, the surfactants in a shampoo are not designed to emulsify and suspend oils for a long time. 

    So, if you want a stabilized formula get rid of all the oils (most of phase B).
    Thanks for your response. My hair has grown more and been the softest it's ever been since I added oils to my shampoo. I would really like to keep them in. And I should have mentioned this but I did a test of phase A+B without any oil and still saw separation so it cant be the oils. 
  • AminaaaAminaaa Member
    To start, your Formula is far too busy and has overlapping actives as well as multiple preservatives. You would boost your preservative system through other means. Throw away the Leucidal, it is useless. What are your total suspended solids? You may need a solubilizer to incorporate the oils as well, As far as "natural" and other marketing bs, don't sacrifice on performance. They don't make shampoo trees.

    I see upwards of 3.5% powders being added in Phase D. How are you suspending these powders?
    Thank you for your response. I just wanted to ensure the formula is preserved. I included the leucidal because it contains good bacteria and I aim to balance the microbiome of the scalp. What is your opinion on this? I used to have really bad dandruff and no longer do. Do you recommend any other "biotic" in shampoo such as a pro or prebiotic? (Here is a brand that includes them,  Greenerways Organic Shampoo and Conditioner). And honestly, I was hoping the gums would be enough to suspend phase D. what solubilizer do you recommend? Sorry for all the questions. I really appreciate your time and help
     
  • AminaaaAminaaa Member
    Also, do any of you have a stand mixer you recommend? Hopefully, one where you can change the blade so it's versatile, thanks!
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Anything you do to stabilize the oils further will necessarily make it so they rinse down the drain more readily. The only reason you get any deposition of the oils now is because they aren't suspended properly in the formula. 

    So, you can choose to have a "stabilized" formula, or one that performs the way your formula works now. 

    You have to understand you are trying to do two opposite things in one product. You're trying to get the shampoo to remove oils and deposit oils at the same time. This doesn't work. 

    If you like the way the shampoo leaves your hair, I suggest you don't change anything. Any change will change the performance.
  • AminaaaAminaaa Member
    Perry said:
    Anything you do to stabilize the oils further will necessarily make it so they rinse down the drain more readily. The only reason you get any deposition of the oils now is because they aren't suspended properly in the formula. 

    So, you can choose to have a "stabilized" formula, or one that performs the way your formula works now. 

    You have to understand you are trying to do two opposite things in one product. You're trying to get the shampoo to remove oils and deposit oils at the same time. This doesn't work. 

    If you like the way the shampoo leaves your hair, I suggest you don't change anything. Any change will change the performance.
    How are larger brands able to do this I wonder? Such as the Herbel Essense avocado oil shampoo
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Simple. They just put a tiny amount of the oil in the formula and it washes down the drain without having much negative impact. The avocado oil is only added to tell a marketing story. If they didn’t put it in the product would not work any differently. This happens all the time in the industry.

    There are ingredients in your formula that are also not really doing anything & if you removed them it wouldn’t make a difference (e.g. the Apple cider vinegar, charcoal, etc). But it would be hard for you to believe that.

    When you believe ingredients do something you’ll be more likely to see an effect. This is a phenomenon known as the Halo Effect. If you really want to know if ingredients are having an effect you can only know for sure through controlled, blinded studies.
  • I think you like your shampoo because you haven't used a good shampoo before. 

    Just use a Shampoo with silicones or better a Shampoo+ a conditioner with silicones and you will see how inferior your product is compared to them.
  • AminaaaAminaaa Member
    Abdullah said:
    I think you like your shampoo because you haven't used a good shampoo before. 

    Just use a Shampoo with silicones or better a Shampoo+ a conditioner with silicones and you will see how inferior your product is compared to them.
    I have used many shampoos. With silicones and without. I like this shampoo because its good
  • Hi, @Aminaaa!

    Well, let's go to some points:

    1. Your formula really has a lot of ingredients. If it's an incompatibility issue between any of them, it's hard to tell which one unless you take them out one by one and see the results. I would recommend that you try to remove some of them that don't have so much effect, as the others suggested above.

    2. The "natural" people tend to value formulations with few ingredients. There's a concept called "10 or less", where some formulations (and the DIY ones) try not to exceed 10 ingredients. Maybe it's an interesting challenge for you (as it might even save you some money)

    3. Finally, I think it might be interesting for you to invest in more than one product. If you like the effects of oils but don't want to compromise the effectiveness of the shampoo, why not try making a conditioner and/or a hair mask with those same oils, to leave on and hydrate your hair? I know it's good to find more than one thing in the same product, but that sometimes makes it less effective and more expensive.

    Regarding the mixing you mentioned, I would recommend a low RPM as it's a shampoo (I use +/- 300 RPM for light weight samples, normally 100-200g). Oh, and prefer low-shear propellers (blades)! Because it's a shampoo, high shear and high mixing can lead to bubble formation (nothing wrong with that, but they take a while to disappear).
  • @Aminaaa Unfortunately, gums you're using (xanthan and guar) don't give enough yield value to keep your oils suspended, which inevitably will end up in coalescence of those oils. If you want to keep them, you'll need to add a suspending agent that forms a good gel network, like carbomers do. This also applies to your clays, which will settle after a while in the absence of a good suspending agent.

    Also, check the final pH of your product, and especially of your phase A (Sodium cocoyl isethionate hydrolyzes at pH lower than 6). 

    Leucidal has been proved not to have good antimicrobial activity (despite what the supplier says). Keep in mind that supplier's main objective is to sell their products. Overall, your preservative system might be weak against some fungi, especially if you need to keep your pH no lower than 6 to protect our sodium cocoyl isethionate.

    Cetyl alcohol (and perhaps Phytomulse) should be melted and mixed with part of your surfactants and water, before being added. This will increase stability (and performance). 

    As @Perry mentioned, your oils will most likely be washed away before being deposited, especially in the absence of a flocculating agent, such as Guar HPTC. Not sure if powders in phase D would have a real benefit on hair (most are not water solubleand have no wat to be deposited.
     
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