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Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Help! Shampoo Separation 😔

  • Help! Shampoo Separation 😔

    Posted by Yukahno on January 11, 2023 at 4:26 am

    I’ve been formulating a shampoo and it has been separating even though I homogenized it for about 15 mins already. 

    SLSA 10%
    CMEA 10%
    CPAB 10%
    NaCl 0.3%
    Water 61%
    Polysorbate 80 0.5%
    Fragrance 0.5%
    Polyquat 7 0.5%
    Cetrimonium Chloride 5%
    Preservative 0.5%
    Sodium Gluconate 0.5%
    Propylene Glycol 0.7%
    I firstly conbine Phase A then I slowly add Phase B one by one in a separate container then add it to phase A, mix, then homogeize. No heating. 

    SunilHiwarkat1965 replied 4 months, 2 weeks ago 5 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • GeorgeBenson

    January 11, 2023 at 9:51 am

     isnt cetrimonium chloride a cationic surfactant, which would be incompatible with your anionic SLSA?

  • gordof

    January 11, 2023 at 10:14 am

    hi there

    do you get a clear shower gel or is it cloudy at the start? 

    what is separating exactly did you analyze? is it a small separation and oily (the fragrance?) is it a bigger separation in two phases completely?

    it is a lot of surfactants there and you don’t homogenize a surfactant-based shampoo normally it is very difficult in production to not make a foaming party in the vessel and it should not be necessary in a shampoo. (not cream shampoo of course but yours don’t look like a cream shampoo) 

    as George said cetrimonium chloride dose not like anionic surfactant bases normally in small amounts it forms complexes with the anionics that are ok and can be held by the system but 5 % is a huge amount normal use concentration in shampoo would be 0.1-0.5% max I would say.    

  • Yukahno

    January 11, 2023 at 10:20 am

    Hi, thank you both for your input. 


    Did my research earlier and also found out that Cetrimonium Chloride isn’t compatible; I’ll be sure to omit/reduce that to 0.1% and will update you moving forward on the next trial.

    @Gordof it turned out cloudy when the foam disappeared after 24H.  I couldn’t see initially if it turned out clear because it made so much foam! 😂

  • Yukahno

    January 11, 2023 at 10:32 am

    Gordof said:
    what is separating exactly did you analyze? is it a small separation and oily (the fragrance?) is it a bigger separation in two phases completely?

    it’s kind of a bigger separation; after 24H something more cloudy settles on the bottom. I’ll attach a photo here:

  • ozgirl

    January 11, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    Your level of Cocamide MEA seems to be on the high side. If removing the Cetrimonium Chloride doesn’t fix the problem you could try lowering the amount of Cocamide MEA.

  • SunilHiwarkat1965

    January 14, 2023 at 11:17 am

    Yukahno, you even don’t need CMEA at that proportions of SLES & CAPB.( assuming your SLES is 28% active)
    Also add CTAC @ 0.25%
    Swap Plysorbate 80 with Polysorbate 20.