Thickening Sodium Laureth Sulfate shampoo

Hi,
i’m working on a formulation using Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. I am having trouble thickening it. Or when I can thicken it, the formula breaks when I add the fragrance. I am thinking of trying Hysroxypropyl Methylcellulose or Sorbithix L-100 but I’m not sure when to add them to the formula and at what concentration.  Has anyone had luck with these options?  Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Comments

  • PaprikPaprik Member
    Sulfates are salt responsive. If it does not thicken after you add Cocamidopropyl Betaine, try keep adding NaCl in small increments (0.3 - 0.5%) and see how it goes. 

    Adding NaCl should be the last step (record how much you've added and recreate the formula after), first adjust the pH, sometimes it helps too. 

    How much fragrance are you using? Sulfates are usually strong enough to hold small amount without needing of solubiliser. However, you might need to solubilise the fragrance first before adding into your product. 

    If you could share your formula, we would be able to help you more. :) 
  • Hi Paprik,
    Thanks for answering. I’m using about 1% fragrance. I tried NaCl (small increments up to 2%) at the end of the process after adjusting the pH to about 6. I used PolySugamulse D9 (Sorbitan Oleate Decylglucoside Crosspolymer) to solubilize the essential oils before adding them to the formula. I was thinking of using Tween-20 next time, instead. In addition to the HPMC or sorbithix l-100 if I can figure out how to use them. 
    …or maybe I’m overthinking it. 
    I had a formula that was working using a SLES paste but I cannot duplicate it working with the aqueous form, which is what I’ll need to use going forward. 
  • ketchitoketchito Member
    @lesmith1018 Could you try lowering the pH to let's say, 5.5? I think you'll see a difference in viscosity. Also, solubilizers can decrease the viscosity of your surfactant system.
  • Hi there!
    The pH is already around 5.5. 
    Solubilizer to decrease viscosity? Increasing viscosity after the addition of essential oils is my goal.
    Thank you so much,
    Lauren
  • How much SLES and CAPB are you using? It’s either on a low end or the fragrance is the culprit. Is your product clear or opaque?
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    edited June 26
    1% fragrance is LOT. Try to make it without the fragrance and see how it goes. 
    I usually go up to 3% of NaCl. After that I give up :D 
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @lesmith1018

    If you try Sorbithix L-100 you'll want to first heat up your mixture to about 50C.  Add the Sorbithix as the final ingredient while stirring@500 RPM or so.  Let it stir for a couple of hours and it will build viscosity over the next 24 hours or so.  Start with 2% to 3% Sorbithix.  Note:  It is a very good viscosity builder, but is not effective will all surfactant systems, so you'll have to experiment with it.

    The fragrance is probably the culprit.  If Sorbithix does not work in your system, try Acrylates Copolymer.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • SLES/CAPB doesn’t need any thickeners but salt. Post the formula and I will let you know why it doesn’t thicken
  • ketchitoketchito Member
    Hi there!
    The pH is already around 5.5. 
    Solubilizer to decrease viscosity? Increasing viscosity after the addition of essential oils is my goal.
    Thank you so much,
    Lauren
    @lesmith1018 ; Yes. I meant that if you add a solubilizer, that one could decrease the viscosity of your system, so beware of the type and dosis of solubilizer. As @ngarayeva001 mentioned, SLES/CAPB is a very easy to thicken system, you just need the right amount of surfactants/salt. Also, you could try replacing part or all your solubilizer by Cocamide DEA or similar, which will boost viscosity of your system.
  • How much SLES and CAPB are you using? It’s either on a low end or the fragrance is the culprit. Is your product clear or opaque?
    Hi, 
    I hadn’t checked in on the site and I’m glad people are willing to help!
    SLES is at 15% and CAPB is at 8%

  • Hi, I am having trouble figuring out how to reply to comments one by one. I am new.. (to this forum AND to formulating shampoo), so sorry  :)
    I don't have the full formula but I am using 15% SLES and 8% CAPB. I am using glycol distearate so it is opaque.
    It is a good idea to lower the fragrance. I added it little by little until I could really smell it, but maybe I can get away with less.  
    Thank you for the information on the Sorbithix. I am making 200g batches, and I don't have the ability to stir for 2 hours. I really appreciate the suggestion of the Acrylates Copolymer. Is that something that takes a a lot of stirring too, or is it easy to do by hand? Can you add it at the end or when do you add it?
    The way I use the solubilizer is to mix it with my fragrances, then add the mix in at the end (before pH and NaCl. Is that right? The reason I add it at the end is because I need to heat it up to 170 and the fragrances are temperature sensitive. I have tried to add in the oils without a solubilizer, but the system thins even more. Adding a 1:1 ratio of Tween 20 : fragrance helps a lot. 
    Thank you for the suggestion of Cocamide DEA. When/how do you add it please?
    Whew, thank you all so much and if I didn't address your response it was not on purpose.
  • as supplied or active surfactant mass?
  • As supplied. SLES is liquid form. Thanks!
  • Liquid SLES is 27% usually. CABP varies but let’s guess it’s 35%: (0.15*0.27)+(0.08*0.35)=6.8%You don’t have enough even for a face wash. Up active mass to 13-15% and it should thinken.
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    It can be thickened easily with NACL. Have you tried that? 

    What percentage of fragrance are you adding? 

    Is it a Shampoo or face & body wash?
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