Thickening with PEG-150 Distearate

BelassiBelassi Member
edited November 2014 in Hair
One of our best lines is sulphate-free shampoo. Unfortunately the cost of the thickener (Glucamate VLT) has gone through the roof and I use it at around 4%. I don't want to remove the original thickener entirely because it has great hand-feel and also improves preservation, but I am looking at using an alternative lower cost thickener so as to be able to reduce the VLT to say 1%.
Today I came across some PEG-150 Distearate so I bought some. Have any of you used this thickener and if so would you like to comment?
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Comments

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    @Belassi, I have used it before, and I wouldn't use it again unless there was no alternative whatsoever

    the reasons being that it's difficult to disperse (it's only soluble in hot surfactants, and it dissolves very slowly), and that the viscosity it imparts is extremely sensitive to temperature variations; a product which is acceptable at 20°C becomes water-thin at 35°C and thickens to jelly at 10°C

    as a direct substitute I'd suggest using Antil 120 Plus or Antil 127 from Evonik/Degussa, if you can source them
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    edited November 2014
    I agree with @Bill_Toge, I have had the same issues with this thickener. Bought a bag of 25 kg a year back and yet to finish it, even for sulfate systems I never liked the thickening it provided. 
    I have used Rewoderm LI S80 but not sure if it can help you in sulfate free system. 
  • Wow, thanks for the info, glad I only bought a 500g sample.
    I can't source Antil here.
    How about NOVETHIX L10? I can get that from Conjunto Lar. But I haven't checked the price yet.
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  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    Why don't you try Aqua SF-1, I am using it in my sulfate free system and it  thickens pretty good and the back acid thickening too works absolutely wonderful. If you need further info I would send you my formula and you can tweak it as per your need or adopt the same. In fact the yield value too is great as I am adding some pearls too ( that was a weird request from customer so I just toed the line). 
  • I can't get along with that. I have tried it. One reason is that I can't get the air bubbles out. Another is the quite large pH change involved in my surfactant combination. One of the surfactants is a pure carboxylic acid.
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  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    edited November 2014
    Yes that is for sure, mine luckily is pearlized and opaque so there I am saved. OK here you go then, it might help you possibly.

    http://www.stepan.com/uploadedFiles/Literature_and_Downloads/General_Lit/Market_Segment_Specific/StepanSulfateFreeSurfactantSolutions.pdf

  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    BTW I used to have Aculyn 22 but again you know neutralization and alkaline pH for optimum efficacy but low pH for shampoo (all these hassles), I gave it up.
  • Thanks for trying to help. Neither Stepan nor Dow products available in my market. 
    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.
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    How about Pilot Chemicals, they are also missing?????
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    Versathix if you have Croda around or anything similar from any other supplier present in your region. 
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    I also agree with steering clear of PEG-150 distearate due to the difficulty incorporating it into the product.

    We swapped to Versathix over a year ago and have found it to work very well in our shampoos (some with sulfate and some that are sulfate free).
     
  • Don't have Pilot Chemicals in our market. As for Croda, it would be nice to be able to buy their ingredients, but unfortunately they appear to be so hostile to smaller manufacturers that nobody here does business with them. I guess Croda are OK if you are able to buy 200Kg at a time. I am going to get some Novethix L10 and try that.
    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.
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    Novethix L10 is a HASE polymer so if your pH is around neutral then its fine otherwise thickening at low pH would be a big challenge and cumbersome. 
  • BelassiBelassi Member
    edited November 2014
    So it won't be any use at pH = 5.5?
    - So yes, it looks like it's useless for me (unless I want to make a sulphate free pet shampoo!)

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  • BelassiBelassi Member
    edited November 2014
    Today I got the chance to do a bit of work with the PEG-150.
    First I set my target, which is to reduce the Glucamate VLT content from around 3.8% (currently) to 2% but not less than 1.75% (VLT has great sensorials and also enhances preservative action)
    Today, test #1, I prepared 1L, adding 0.5% PEG-150 and subtracting 0.5% water.
    It was necessary to modify the procedure by heating two of the three surfactants to 65C to incorporate the PEG-150. Then I added sufficient VLT to increase the thickness to the desired level. (I don't have expensive viscometer equipment, so I measure the time it takes a bubble to rise to the top of a graduated cylinder)
    VLT added: 2.8% - an improvement of 1%
    Notes: a) taking forever to de-bubble b) seems to be slightly less than clear, a little translucent.

    Next: increase PEG-150 to 0.75% and re-test.
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  • Did the re-test. Using 0.75% of PEG-150 I added the target amount of 2% VLT. The result was a little too thin. Either I use 1% of PEG-150 or 2.5% of VLT. The latter costs $40/Kg.
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  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    I suppose if optimized properly PEG-150 DS might be tamed but mine had Rewopol LI S80 and it was sulfate based shampoo (one of the customers was looking for sodium chloride free, ha ). Worked out great and there was no problem with PEG-150 DS 
  • Hmmm... What about fumed silica for thickening? I would be interested to see how it works for sulfate-free systems. Evonik Aerosil may be able to help
  • Yet another type of thing I can't source unfortunately but I do appreciate the suggestions.
    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.
  • edited November 2014
    Hhhmm.... Let me think a bit then about what we can do!
  • Not to worry. I seem to have solved the problem by adding MEA. I'll discontinue the PEG-150 investigation.
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  • @Belassi  im  very interested in your results ussing MEA,  have you achived the desired viscosity using it?, what % did you used,  im having almost the same issue and i have MEA and PEG150 Available from the same dealer, so i want to make some costs calculations.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Belassi:

    Why do you not add a bit of a sulfate-free anionic surfactant and use NaCl + Glutamate to thicken.  PEG150 is a mess to work with, imho.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • This is a very old thread. MEA works great as a foam stabiliser and thickener but you can't use a lot or it will come out of solution. I settled on 1.5% as optimum. PEG150 is so dependent on temperature that it really isn't a good answer.
    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.
  • Thanks @belassi, its a good answer im going to try MEA at 1.5%, im going to avoid peg150 for awhile.
  • the best for me is ARLYPON TT FROM BASF.
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