Is it necessary to use multiple surfactants?

lovelove Member
edited April 2014 in Requests / Opportunities
I'm working on a face wash recipe and I have read that it is necessary to use multiple surfactants in order to increase mildness of a formula. I'm thinking of trying out Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate and I wasn't sure if it it mild enough on its own or if mixing it with another surfactant would be better ( milder). One site I was checking out recommended using Cocoamidopropyl Betaine in every face wash to increase the mildness of the other surfactants. Is this necessary/helpful. Any recommendations.


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Sounds reasonable to me. Betaine is a good choice
    Is it true that Betaine working at PHs below 5 releases nitrosamines?
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    @ALGAR wow now that sounds interesting, though I hope it's not the case.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    in a word, no

    the only potential source of nitrosamines in betaine is cocamidopropyl dimethylamine (an impurity, present in trace amounts), and it only forms nitrosamines in presence of a nitrite source (e.g. bronopol)

    betaines themselves can't form nitrosamines at all, as they don't have the right chemical functionality
    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
  • AvickAvick Member
    If I remember correctly, cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine would also be a good amphoteric to work with the disodium laureth sulfosuccinate and it is Whole-Foods-acceptable, whereas they have weird and inconsistent opinions about coco betaine... if that matters to you. :)

    I'm still not clear on the issue about Betaines. Did some research and came across the above article. Don't agree with everything it says either  pro or con....but
    What do you think? What could be  a valid alternative to Betaines if needed?
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