Home Cosmetic Science Talk General CETAC 30% Causing Irritation!

  • CETAC 30% Causing Irritation!

    Posted by Sasse on March 27, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    I noticed that whenever I include CETAC 30% in my conditioner formulation it seems to sting a bit as I rinse my hair. It’s feels like little pinches on my face here and there. I get no blotches or anything on my face or body after, but it’s just really irritating and I would rather not have that. 

    My question is:

    Is CETAC 30% too much at 1.5% in a deep conditioner formulation? 

    These are the other ingredients in the formulation:

    C13-15 alkane
    Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride 
    Aloe Vera Juice 
    Stearyl alcohol 

    Could any of these ingredients be causing the the reaction with the CETAC 30%?

    Many thanks,


    Sasse replied 3 years, 10 months ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Sasse

    March 27, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    I am also using Optiphen plus as a preservative at 1% 

  • alchemist01

    March 27, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    I don’t think it’s too much, it’s probably too little.

    What is the product’s pH?

  • Sasse

    March 27, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    Hello alchemist01, thanks for replying!

    The most recent one I formulated was a 3.45. I thought it was a bit low. 
  • alchemist01

    March 30, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    I think that pH is a little low for a conditioner. I have no idea if that’s the issue, but it should be a quick adjustment to try. I would try and bring it closer to 4-5, but that’s a personal range. For a rinse-off conditioner cetrimonium chloride is usually more like 2-3% active. If you feel your product works well you can leave it as is (maybe whatever your honeyquat % is makes up for it), or change it once you resolve the stinging.

    Maybe someone with more experience than I can pick out incompatibilities with your LOI, but if none of that helps you should just try cutting out ingredients one by one to pinpoint the issue.

  • LincsChemist

    March 31, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    What’s your BTMS level? It can also be irritating. You could also try upping your stearyl alcohol percentage, as fatty acids are known to reduce the irritation potential of cationic surfactants.

  • Sasse

    April 4, 2020 at 3:31 am

    Thank you all for the comments, and sorry for the late reply. 

    @alchemist01 I might just have to let go of the CETAC and up my Honeyquat levels as suggested. I’m not familiar with how to increase pH, only how to lower. 

    @LincsChemist I am using 5% Btms and 3% stearyl alcohol. 

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