Coco glucoside changes colour?

I'm experimenting with different coco glucoside based shampoos using "natural" ingredients and have noticed a strange behaviour at least twice now.

First time I mixed coco glucoside and fresh aloe vera juice 50/50, which resulted in a honey-coloured layer forming where the two materials met, within seconds. I stirred them together, and the whole, previously colourless mix turned a strong golden colour. At the same time, there was a sharp and unpleasant smell, neither the smell of coco glucoside or aloe vera. I had also smelled it when mixing coco glucoside with honey, though there the colour change hadn't been observable for obvious reasons.

Today I mixed lavender hydrosol with coco glucoside at a 3:1 ratio, and again I was getting a light golden colour and that unpleasant scent! All these reactions are happening before adding any other ingredients. Initially I just wrote it off as a one-off reaction due to the fresh aloe vera, but the fact that I've now experienced this smell from three different mixes all containing coco glucoside makes me think the common denominator might be more simple.

Has anyone experienced something similar or has an idea what sort of chemical reaction might be happening? I would really like to understand what is going on.


  • First you check your raw material shelf life if they are not expired 
    Secondly you need some emulsifier like tween 80 to blend.
    And also check the ph you have aloveragel have acidic in nature so first dilute it and then mix it .
    Looking that some if your material is contaminated or expired. 
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    Coco glucoside has a high pH (~11) so my guess is what you are seeing is a reaction due to the high pH.

    Usually when making a shampoo you add water first to the batch and then add your other materials to the water. There is generally no need to premix your materials.

    Using large amounts of hydrosols or aloe vera juice will just cause issues with preservation and stability so just keep these at low amounts.
  • Thanks for the response! The lavender hydrosol is coming close to its expiry date (04/2020) but shows no signs of spoilage, all other ingredients are well in date so it's probably something else.

    Is it true that the honey, aloe vera gel and lavender hydrosol are all acidic - so maybe that is causing the issues. So I'll try diluting first next time, and will also see if I get a similar reaction with other acidic solutions mixed with CG, just to prove the hypothesis.

    Didn't realize Coco glucoside needed an emulsifier in these combinations, thanks for the heads up.
  • Hi ozgirl, thank you for your response as well. It does seem pH is the issue, I'll start with water next time. I was trying to replace that with hydrosol/aloe vera gel for a nice looking label, but if it doesn't work so be it.

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