Change my mind, co surfactants can be used as main surfactants

co surfactants can be used as main surfactants if you put more of them in a formula.


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    You’ll need to better explain your statement to get useful responses. “Co-surfactant” needs to be better defined.  

    Whether an ingredient can be used as a main surfactant depends on what the ingredient is & what the main surfactant is meant to do.  Also, cost & performance characteristics should be stated too.
  • co surfactants in for example a shampoo. to lower the "intensety" in a more intense surfactant
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Perhaps you should give an example and explain what you mean by "intensity".
    It's difficult to have a conversation when both parties are not certain about terms.

    I'll give you my guess at what I think you mean and see if it makes sense.

    Suppose we have a shampoo made up of a main surfactant (SLS) and a co-surfactant is added (Cocamidopropyl Betaine).  You are saying that it would be possible to make a shampoo using just Cocamidopropyl Betaine and not using any SLS.  Is this right?

    If indeed this is what you are saying, I would not disagree with you. Sure, you can make a shampoo using only Cocamidopropyl Betaine. There would be a number of problems with it for example it won't foam very well, it might have the wrong viscosity, it won't clean very well, and it would be super expensive.  But sure, it can be a shampoo.

    In fact, nearly any surfactant could be used to make a shampoo. But it wouldn't be a good shampoo in comparison to other shampoo formulas you could make.  People make shampoos out of soap. They are terrible to use but they will help remove dirt.

    But perhaps you mean something else.
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