What is Wrong??

filizfiliz Member
edited December 2020 in Advanced Questions
Hi everyone,

I used 'Sodium styrene / acrylates copolymer'  in my shower gel.
but when ı add it, the viscosity fastyl decreases... 
ı adjust the viscosity with NaCl. 
I can't get the consistency I want. what do you think about that ?

How can ı solve this situation ? 


  • You haven't said what else you have in your shower gel. 
    At the moment it is complete guesswork.
  • @filiz I agree with @Benz3ne, you need to provide more information. That being said, styrene/acrylates copolymers don not resist electrolytes well. 
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    You are using this as an opacifier, right? I agree with @ketchito
    and @Benz3ne too: a lot of things can go wrong there without knowing what you have.

  • @Benz3ne
    Thank you I should have been careful with the content.

    There is my shower gel ingredients:

    SLES 15%
    BETAİNE 5%
    C12-13 Alkyl lactat 0,5%
    Coco Glucoside 5%

    styrene / acrylates copolymer which I use as "opacifier" except these.

  • @filiz ;Styrene / acrylates copolymer is a very sensitive opacifier, and as I mentioned, it doesn't like salt much, which by the formula you posted, might be in fairly high amounts to get the proper viscosity. Also, if your pH is low (lower than 5.5), Betaine starts behaving like a cationic, making the system mor unstable.
  • thank you @ketchito
    unfortunately, when we increase the amount of salt, the reaction reverses due to the salt curve. The viscosity of the product decreases.

    I did a trial by increasing the amount of c12-13 alkyl lactat. Even after adding opacifier, the viscosity was somewhat good. However, when I added the essence, the viscosity completely broke down. however, the same essence works very easily without opacifier.

    There are too many variables, but opacifier is definitely a problem. 
    Any suggestions for solve this problem ? 
  • By the way, my pH value = 5,5-6 
  • @filiz You could try with a glycol distearate based opacifier instead. Also, I would make one sample without the opacifier, to see is viscosity is Ok without the opacifier (or not, in which case we're blaming the wrong guy). Then, I'd put half of the sample in the fridge and half in the oven.
  • filizfiliz Member
    edited December 2020
    @ketchito    Dediğiniz gibi deneyimi opaklaştırıcı kullanmadan yaptım ve viskozitem gayet iyiydi. 
    Bu opaklaştırıcının ticari adını önerebilir misiniz?
  • filizfiliz Member
    edited December 2020

    Biraz araştırma yaptım. ALKAMULS® 504 / V (etilen glikol distearat) buldum. ancak bu bileşen aynı zamanda sedef görüntüsü verir.
  • You can try Euperlan PK 711 Benz if do not mind Cocamide MEA in your formula. It works well with cold-process.

  • Thank you very much for your suggestion, but 
    the firm does not want pearl appearence. should only be opaque color :smile:
  • @filiz Lamesoft TM Benz is an opacifier (not pearlizer) that can replace styrene based opacifiers very well. You can give it a try.
  • @ketchito thank you 

    I tried lamesoft. but it did not dissolve as I added 0.5% to the shower gel base afterwards.
    Do you think it works if I dissolve it with a little bit of formula water and add surfactants later?

    I added 1% essence but the viscosity is broken again. It was worked out in harmony with Essence shower gel. I can't find what to do.

    any suggestions?
  • may ı change surfactant groups? or percentages? is it works? 
    when ı use opacifier and high level of essence (%1-2%), the viscosity decreaes. ı need to solve the big problem
  • @filiz Two things come to my mind:

    1) make a premix of Coco glucoside with the Essence, mix it till it gets clear, and then add it to the batch,

    2) try replacing Sodium chloride by Cocamide DEA (or similar, like MIPA or MEA), or by Crothix Liquid (or Versathix)

  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    edited December 2020
    What do you mean by "essence"? Are you talking about fragrance oil? Adding this always decreases viscosity. Often, by a lot. Salt thickened products are quite unstable in viscosity, the slightest thing messes them up.
    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.
  • @ketchito
    thank you very much. ı mixed coco glucoside with essence and add it end of the process. ı solved the blur problem. 
    but the viscosity is too low with 1% shower essences. ı can not increases the salt amount. 
    ı want the formula stay same but ı need to increases the viscosity

    I have very little time left to the production date of the product
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    This is the ongoing problem with relying on salt thickening. I found it pretty much impossible to make a product of a required viscosity using salt alone. You will probably have to add thickeners.
    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.
  • @Belassi

    Should I replace c12-13 alkyl lactat with cocamide DEA? Or would you have any other suggestions?
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    edited December 2020
    Same problem. CDEA is not a thickener.
    Thickeners: CMEA (slightly), PEG-150 distearate, methyl cellulose, glucamate VLT, certain gums (poor sensorials), carbopol types (formulation problems)
    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.
  • @Belassi Thanks for your comment,I have this problem too. I was going to make creamy shampoo with cetyl alcohol and PEG 150 Distearate.I mix them and add to water phase in 70 c. the interesting point is the solution became transparent and clear, however i used cetyl alcohol. i don't any idea about that. The thickener has done correctly without being creamy.  Then i made another shampoo with PEG 150 Distearste, I add cetyl alcohol at the end of process and it was creamy WITH LOW VISCOSITY. would you like to comment ?
    Thanks in advance

  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    would you like to comment ?
    - Not really. This is someone else's thread. I saw your question and all I can say is, cetyl alcohol is not found in commercial shampoos, do you think there may be a reason?

    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.
  • chemistry8303chemistry8303 Member
    edited December 2020
    @Belassi yes, you are right, but i used this shampoo and i feel great, That is the most reason i want to use it, My goal is making creamy shampoo. Anyway Thanks for comment taking your time.

  • @Belassi

    thanks for your comment. I sent some of my shower gel to my essential oil company and they worked again for me. Viscosity isn't bad right now, but I can't be sure without stabilizing.
  • @filiz Providing that you don't have many more thins in your formula, you could replace your c12-13 alkyl lactate with either Versathix or Crothix Liquid (both by Croda). They help increase viscosity on very hard to thicken systems, using low amounts. As long as you don't have anything to suspend like mica or silicones, you'd be fine.
  • @chemistry8303 Cetyl alcohol forms a lamellar gel with surfactants, helping thickening a bit while cooling. PEG-150 distearate on the other hand due to its high ethoxylation, interacts with the polar head of surfactants in micelles as a non ionic (as you might have seen, non ionic ethoxylated surfactants don't give much viscosity when combined with anionics), that's why Glycol distearate is preferred for creamy shampoos. 
  • chemistry8303chemistry8303 Member
    edited January 2021
    There are many reason to be confused, your idea is correct when i use Disodium laureth solfosuccinate as anionic surfactant but It depends on which  anionic surfactant i use, I changed my mind when i used Sodium Laureth Sulfate as anionic surfactant, It became thickened as much as it could.
    I  really appreciate for your comment
  • chemistry8303chemistry8303 Member
    edited January 2021
    I suggest as Belassi said, you should try PEG-150 distearate, It worked when i tested.
  • filizfiliz Member
    edited January 2021
    Thanks for your suggestion. I looked at the chemical, but it is the hot process raw material :(
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