Shampoo separating with hydroxyethl cellulose

hi All,

i have been trying to formulate liquid shampoo featuring hydroxyethl cellulose as thickeners. I believe the thickener Is causing it because if I do keep out the thickener, it doesn’t desperate (white frothy liquid at top and clear liquid at the bottom). If it is indeed the thickener, is there any other alternative? I do not like crothix due to PEG ingredients. Is there any other liquid thickener I could use? Open to suggestions/alteration on the formula too.

water to 100%
aleo vera juice - 4%
glycerine - 3%
Dissolvine gl chelating agent - 2%
panthenol - 1%
Allantoin powder - 1%
herbals - 2.5%

cocamidopropyl betaine - 24%
SCI - 8%
lauryl glucoside - 7%
decyl glucoside - 5%
lamesoft po 65 - 3%

oils - 2%
essential oils - 1%
tocopherol - 0.2%
phenoxyethanol - 1%
soduim benzoate and potassium airbags - 1.5%
dehydroacetic and benzyl alcohol - 1.1%
cellulose gum (INCI - hydroxyethyl cellulose , sodium acetate,isopropanol) - 1%
citric acid - 0.2%

thanking you all in advance for your input :)


  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Can't tell you why ;( . But I have some questions, if you don't mind me asking:
    Why allantoin and why so much? It won't do anything in a shampoo (much like panthenol and glycerine, the herbals at least give the product some claim).
    Why so much Dissolvine GL?
    What is potassium airbags?
    Your product seems nearly over-preserved... do you really need that much?
    Why citric acid? Is it for pH adjustments (it's probably not added as sequestrant since you already use Dissolvine)? What pH does your shampoo have?
    Why do you decided to go with HEC as a gelling agent?
    Did you try salt as thickener? From what I've heard, it sometimes works with SCI (and sometimes not). Or switch to sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate (or any other acyl methyl isethionate) which is said to thicken very well with salt or betaine and ditch HEC.
  • Thank you for replying pharma :).

    - allantoin there to treat dandruff and dry scalp. I guess 0.5% will still be effective ?
    - 2% is the recommended usage rate for dissolvine GL I believe
    - sorry potassium airbag was a typo - meant to be potassium sorbat
    - will be using fermented rice water so making sure that I have a broad spectrum there to protect against moulds etc...
    - HEC seems to give a nice thickness compare to other thickeners. Will try thickening with salt see how that goes.

    do you think I could lower the preservatives and still be protected ?


  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    - Allantoin won't do anything in a shampoo. If you want a product against dandruff and dry scalp, use it in a leaf-in product (0.1-0.5% is common).
    - If you use Dissolvine GL as a preservative booster & sequestrant, then 0.1% is all you need. More may help with better lather when dealing with hard water or when you use tap water instead of demineralised water in your product.
    - Fermented rice water... okay, I see why you go for that better safe than sorry option. What's the pH of your shampoo?
    You'd have to challenge test your product to know if it's good, too much or not enough ;) .
  • BelassiBelassi Member
    edited January 15
    Way too many preservatives. I use just 0.4% sodium benzoate at pH 5.0 to preserve a shampoo that's based on percolated coffee. (You have no doubt seen how mould grows on coffee if it's left for a few days?) I recently discovered a half-used bottle my daughter left behind 8 months ago. Still perfect.
    aloe vera juice in shampoo? waste of money.
    Lamesoft PO65? 3% is too much. Use 1%.
    Oils 2%? Get rid of them, terrible for cleaning and also viscosity.
    EO at 1%? Too much. Use 0.4%
    Cocamide MEA at 1.25% will enhance foam and viscosity.
    There is an excellent liquid thickener, I use it, and it enhances preservation too since it has propanediol. Glucamate VLT. But you will not like the price.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • curlycornercurlycorner Member
    edited 6:25AM
    Thank you for your advice Belassi for your advice. I will prepare a test batch of your suggestions. The coffee scenario gives me hope :)

    I have checked out the thickener and it seems to contain PEG which I am trying to avoid :( INCI: PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Trioleate (and) Propanediol and most importantly cannot get it in the U.K. 
Sign In or Register to comment.