Formulating with PEG-90M

Hi friends!

I'm developing a hair mask with a 'spider-web' effect, but the formulation is not showing the spider web effect. I tried different concentrations of PEG-90M (1%, 4% e 10%) but still there's no spider web effect. I'm using a liquid version of PEG-90M with 2-3% active pencentage. I already reached out to the supplier but they didn't repplied back yet. There's the formula down below (ingredients listed as in order of addition):

1. Water... till 100%
1. Behentrimonium Chloride 50% - 1,50%
1. Cetearyl Alcohol - 7%
1. Incroquat Behenyl TMS (Behentrimonium Methosulfate & Cetearyl Alcohol) - 3%
2. Alpha Improve 4D Hair (Bisabolol & Pentaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil & Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil) - 0,30%
2. Prodew 500 (aminoacids blend) - 0,50%
2. Hydrolyzed Keratin - 0,30%
2. Amodimethicone - 1%
2. Dimethicone - 1,50%
3. Fragrande - 1,00%
3. Microcare PHG (Phenoxyethanol & Caprylyl Glycol) - 1%
4. PEG-90M - (we tried 1%, 4% and 10%)

The phase 1 is heated until ~80ºC and then homogeniezed (800 rpm for 5 minutes).
The phase 2 is added to the system followed by constant 800 rpm stirring. 
Phase 3 is added when the system is cooled and then homogeneized (800 rpm) for 5 minutes.
Phase 4 is added and then the system is homogeneized (800 rpm) for 5 minutes. 

pH adjusted to 4.5 - 6.0. 

Anyone has any suggestion of what I could try to get the spider web effect? Any comment/suggestion would be very helpful!

Kind regards, 


  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    @tecnico3vinia that snot-like rheology you seek will only occur if you pair PEG-90M with an acrylic polymer such as carbomer or acrylates copolymer. It is a synergistic effect between them.  And when you do: look out! Because even 1.0% PEG-90M is far too much! 10% will be unworkable. This means of course you will need to DEL those behenyl quats and start from scratch.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    homogenising the formula destroys PEG-90M and other long-chain resins of that type; your best bet is to disperse it in glycerine, or something else it's not soluble in, then add it with stirring (no shearing!) until it's fully hydrated
    UK based cosmetic chemist with 13 years' experience at the bench. I've worked with pretty much everything apart from pressed powders, soap, solid lipstick and aerosols.
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