Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Formulating a Clarifying shampoo to remove buildup

  • Formulating a Clarifying shampoo to remove buildup

    Posted by Heath0o7 on February 1, 2024 at 4:46 am

    Hi,

    I’m planning on making a Clarifying shampoo to remove buildup from time to time and I wanted to check if the surfactants I’m going to be using would be suitable in removing hair buildup, such as silicones, cationic polymers, etc. I have dry scalp and I usually prefer shampoo with 10% ASM. I increased the ASM here to 11.55% as I thought I might have to, but I’m not sure as I’m not a cosmetic chemist and I’m new to formulating.

    Also, I read that clarifying shampoos need to have base pH than normal shampoo, so I thought I’d set the it between 7-8, but what would you recommend? Here’s the formula:

    Batch size is 100g:

    70.89% Water

    0.15% Potassium sorbate

    0.4% Carbomer 20
    5.88% Sodium Cocoyl isethionate (ASM 5%)

    0.3% Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate
    1% verstatil TBO preservative

    1% Microcare DB

    Phase B:
    5% Sodium cocoyl glutamate (ASM 1.75%)
    5% Disodium laureth sulphosuccinate (ASM 1.5%)

    Phase C:
    4% Cocamidopropyl Betaine (ASM 1.2%)
    6% Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (ASM 2.1%)
    0.38% Tea Tree oil

    Heath0o7 replied 1 week, 4 days ago 6 Members · 26 Replies
  • 26 Replies
  • evchem2

    Member
    February 1, 2024 at 8:02 am

    If your pH is going to be 7-8 I don’t believe potassium sorbate will be effective as a preservative (see intro of this paper for a quick explanation of how organic acid preservatives and their salts work). This would also apply to the acids in your verstatil and microcare blends. You should look for alternative methods of preservation such as CMIT/MIT blends, maybe phenoxyethanol/ethylhexylglycerin, or others. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4178694/

    • Heath0o7

      Member
      February 1, 2024 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks for the info! I can get a different preservative. The options I have are phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol or Geogard ECT?

      Also, in terms of these surfactants are they good at removing buildup such as silicones and cationic polymers?

      • PhilGeis

        Member
        February 1, 2024 at 5:05 pm

        Forget the Geogard. If all you can get is phenoxy, add ethyl hexyl glycerine.

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    February 1, 2024 at 8:38 am

    Pretty crazy preservation - esp. @ pH 7-8. Benzyl alcohol, a little cap glycol with 3 organic acid/salts, none near pH optimum, and a degradable chelator. Benzoate might be served by surfactants and benzyl alcohol/benzoate can synergize.

    evchem is spot on.

  • Heath0o7

    Member
    February 2, 2024 at 1:32 am

    What if I reduce the ph to 6, would I be able to remove buildup?

    • PhilGeis

      Member
      February 2, 2024 at 6:32 am

      Would help preservation but don’t know abut impact on buildup.

  • ketchito

    Member
    February 2, 2024 at 7:22 am

    For buildup removal, rather than pH, it’s the strenght of your surfactants which preveils. There are even some papers discussing how even for SLES struggles to completel remove buildup caused by Polyquaternium-10.

    • Heath0o7

      Member
      February 2, 2024 at 4:12 pm

      Interesting! So when you say the strength of the surfactant, do you mean the total of the ASM or the strength of each surfactant used in the formula?

      I’ve been reading that amphoteric & anionic surfactants can remove silicones and other buildups. However, surfactants like sodium cocoyl isethionate, Disodium laureth sulphosuccinate and sodium cocoyl glutamate are considered mild when it comes to removing buildup which is why it’s good to combine/use either of them with another surfactant. It didn’t specify which type of surfactant to combine it with for it to become effective, whether with amphoteric or anionic surfactant.

  • Heath0o7

    Member
    February 2, 2024 at 7:43 pm

    I’ve decided to fix the formula to:

    Distilled water
    0.5% Carbomer 20
    2.24% Sodium Cocoyl isethionate (1.9%)

    Phase B:
    10.29% Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (3.5%)
    2.86% Sodium cocoyl glutamate (1%)
    3.33% Disodium laureth sulphosuccinate (1%)

    Phase C:
    4% Cocamidopropyl Betaine (1.2%)
    6% Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (ASM 2.1%)
    0.38% Tea tree oil

    Phase D:
    0.3% Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate
    1% Geogard 221 (pH range 2-7)
    1.5% Optiphen (pH 4-8)

    Lactic acid (pH adjuster to 6.5)

    I hope this formula would be suitable to remove buildup as I read Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate is strong enough to remove buildup like Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate

  • ketchito

    Member
    February 6, 2024 at 4:32 pm

    Carboxylates are actually very mild. Both SLS and SLES being as detersive as they are, have a hard time to completely remove PQ’s buildup. Your formula is more suitable for a sensitive skin/scalp, but if you want to remove buildup, you need the cavalry.

  • abdullah

    Member
    February 8, 2024 at 8:47 am

    Just use some SLS, SLES or AOS because you are using it less often or increase sci and glutamate and decrease amphoterics in your current formula

    • Heath0o7

      Member
      February 10, 2024 at 4:58 am

      I’ve changes the formula to this: <div>

      pH is 8

      phase A:
      73.69% Distilled water
      0.3% Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate
      0.5% Carbomer 20

      Phase B:
      12.5g Sodium Alpha olefin sulfonate (5%)

      2.94% Sodium Cocoyl isethionate (2.5%)

      Phase C:
      8.57% Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (ASM 3%)
      0.5% Tea tree oil

      Phase D:
      1% Exyul PE 9010.

      </div>

  • Heath0o7

    Member
    February 9, 2024 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks for the tip @Abdullah & @ketchito. I do unfortunately have a sensitive scalp, hence why i created that formula, but thankfully my supplier was able to source AOS for me, so I may swap the carboxylate with it. Should the ASM stay the same?

    • ketchito

      Member
      February 13, 2024 at 7:43 am

      If you want it to be more glentle, add some amphoteric surfactant (like CAPB) or cationic polymer.

      • ketchito

        Member
        February 13, 2024 at 7:46 am

        If you add a cationic polymer though, you’ll need to reduce your carbomer and add one of them as a slurry, with some amphoteric between them.

  • abdullah

    Member
    February 12, 2024 at 10:04 pm

    I would increase total anionic surfactants

    Like

    5% AOS

    3% sci

    6% glutamate

    2% amphoteric

    pH ~6

    pH 8 is not good

    • Heath0o7

      Member
      February 13, 2024 at 1:55 am

      Are those percentage as in ASM or amount per weight? Because if it was ASM that would make it 16%, wouldn’t that be too strong and out of range (10%-15%)? Thanks for the pH tip, I’ll keep it 6. Is 7 bad as well?

  • abdullah

    Member
    February 14, 2024 at 9:34 pm

    pH 7 is good too.

    It is active surfactant.

    You will use it once a month, not everyday and it is clarifying shampoo, it has to be a bit Strong.

    • Heath0o7

      Member
      February 15, 2024 at 1:26 am

      Thanks @Abdullah the water percentage would be 51.8% would that be okay?

      • abdullah

        Member
        February 18, 2024 at 7:48 pm

        Your surfactants also have water

        • Heath0o7

          Member
          February 21, 2024 at 5:56 am

          Cool! Do you know if Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate is anionic or non-ionic? I know edta is anionic, but I couldn’t find any information for TSGD

  • Onur

    Member
    February 20, 2024 at 4:41 am

    I’d start with SLS/SLES or C14-15 Olefin Sulfonate to make a clarifying shampoo as those are very strong surfactants. Polyquats can be very sticky and a pain to rinse out of hair, so consider adding alcohol and glycerol since that’s what they dissolve in best. Plus, the glycerol will give some hydration in addition to helping break down the resin buildup.

    I’d add 2% salycilic acid and 4% niacinamide to help clear out the scalp, too.



  • ketchito

    Member
    February 20, 2024 at 8:17 am

    I agree with @onur on the type of surfactants and keratolitic (salicylic acid). Nevertheless, alcohol (I assume it’s ethanol) and glycerin are useless in cleansing products. They are small hygroscopic molecules, that will be heavily solvated and will go down the drain before delivering any real benefit.

    • Heath0o7

      Member
      February 21, 2024 at 5:25 am

      I could add Salicylic Acid. Thanks for the suggestion @Onur I’ve made a batch, but unfortunately the shampoo thinned out after adding the water to the surfactants. I tried using carbomer 20 (0.5%), guar gum (1%) and HydroxyethylCellulose (1%) and the shampoo keeps thinning out when I add the water phase to the surfactants. Even adding the amphoteric last still did the same thing. I know that salt thickens shampoo, but I only have table salt which probably won’t work since it has iodine/Sodium ferrocyanide. I do know that watery shampoo cleans just as good as thick shampoo and I don’t mind it, but it would be good to learn how to thicken DIY shampoo without using salt if you don’t have any.

      • ketchito

        Member
        February 21, 2024 at 6:24 am

        How are you adding Salicylic acid (SA)? If you’re using Cocamide DEA or similar, you can mix SA with Cocamide DEA with gentle heating till it’s dissolved, and then add it to the batch close to the end of the process. You could use other similar materials if you wish.

        • Heath0o7

          Member
          February 21, 2024 at 6:46 pm

          I have made an anti dandruff shampoo with Salicylic acid before and I added the SA in SCG and heated it to 45°C and stirred till it was dissolved. I’ll do the same here. My main issue is the thickness. I’d love to have my Shampoos a little thicker than they usually come out

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