Foaming problem in facewash

shahbazshahbaz Member
edited March 2014 in Formulating

I am trying to make face wash based on SLES 4% , Coconut DEA 1% or CAPB 1% with Solan E 2% and polyquaternium-7 @ 1%, NaCl  4-5 % for thickening. The major problem I am facingi is that its foaming is less and does not form readily, if I increases SLES up to 8 % then it gets too harsh and still there is no significant increase in foam. Also on oily skin the foam depresses completely. Ingredients available me to play with  are SLES, CAPB, Coconut DEA, Glycerin, PG, Solan E, synthalen w400, PROTELAN LS 9011, polyquaternium-7, hydroxyethyl cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose. Can anyone suggests with these ingredients

Also can anyone tell useful literature on foaming and its related?


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    4-5% salt for thickening!  Wow!!  You might try to cut that back to under 2%.  Also, you didn't say whether that was 100% active SLES or 25% active SLES.  If it is the latter, your 4% SLES is really 1% SLES.

    8% SLES, 2% CAPB should be a good foaming starting point.
  • If doubling of the SLES didnt change things that much, I would say you have too many 'impurities' in your water. Are you using distilled water? I think the 4% salt is too high and is preventing foaming as well.

    Also, I believe the ph of your formula will affect the amount of foam produced Try adjusting the ph and see if it helps. A ph of 5.5 would be a good target.
  • @ Perry, I am using SLES 4%(Cognis Texapon N70). Required
    thickening was obtained 4% salt, I was also amazed with that. Will try to lower
    salt in combinition with hydroxpropyl methylcellulose.

    Also by 8% SLES 
    did  you mean SLES (100%) 8%?

     On oily skin foam
    completely suppressed, is there any way to have good foam in the presence of
    sebum on skin?

     Any technique for
    flash foaming?


    @ mikebavington, I will reduce salt and will adjust pH near
    to you said.

    Also any good literature on foaming and foaming techniques?


    Thanks both of you.

  • MakingSkincareMakingSkincare Member, Professional formulator
    adding disodium EDTA will stabilize the foam and bind the metal ions together so you'll get a bit more lather and it will also help your preservative

    Jane Barber (free online course)
    Formulation discussion forum (18,000 members):
  • I tried plantaren 2000 alone and it has really good foaming... hope this helps.

  • Thanks all !!!  all suggestions here helped me well.
  • If it is still in time. Instead of just doubling SLES, double CAPB. I'd try with 6% SLES + 2% CAPB. It'll require less salt to thicken.
    Research & Development Manager Brazil at Alfaparf Milano.
    Owner and Content Director at Cosmetica em Foco.
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