Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Organic surfactant compatible with low pH (3.5)?

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  • Organic surfactant compatible with low pH (3.5)?

    Posted by Zink on December 5, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Looking for organic surfactants that will work in a low pH cleanser formulation, let me know if you know any options! Trying to keep the formula at least 95% organic, but need to use <5 % surfactant typically.

    ashish replied 7 years, 8 months ago 7 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • RobertG

    December 22, 2015 at 3:33 am

    What sort of thing are you looking to clean with it, and how is the cleaning to be done?

    Whether the surfactants are considered “organic” depends on the farming techniques used to grow the materials used to make them.

  • Zink

    December 23, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Robert,

    It’s for a gentle face / body cleanser. Doesn’t need to foam at all.
  • RobertG

    December 25, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Is it to be rinsed off?

    If it doesn’t foam, you have only a few remaining options to apply & remove it.  It can have a cream consistency, applied thick & rinsed or wiped off.  Or it can be soaked into a matrix like a cloth that both dispenses it & soaks it back up, akin to damp mopping.  Non-foaming preparations are hardly ever used for cleaning parts of the body other than hands & face; an example was the microwaveable detergent-emollient-soaked sponges I used from Rite Aid when I had to keep my feet dry following surgery.

    Why does its pH need to be that low?  Is it because acid needs to activate some ingredient of it that does something?

  • Bobzchemist

    December 26, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    For certified organic surfactants, aside from soaps and plant extracts, I think your only choices are the ones from Earth Supplied Products (ESP) made from Sucrose Cocoate, like Safe-Surf SC-Pro.

  • Belassi

    December 26, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Akypo RLM45CA has a pH of about 3.5, it is a carboxylic acid. 

  • Kirk

    December 28, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Or you can try Organic Soapnut Extract. 

  • Mike_M

    January 4, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    I believe you can source sodium cocoyl glutamate organically. I’ve had no issues using it in face wash at skin neutral pH.

  • ashish

    January 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Even Non ionic surfactants are also advisable and stable at wide range of pH & also these are eco-certified but for organic claim need check with supplier. Please refer BASF range of Glucosides.

  • Bobzchemist

    January 5, 2016 at 5:23 pm
    There’s a very large difference between Ecocert and certified organic materials. There’s a lot of confusion about this, so let me explain.
    Ecocert and other organizations just want to be able to prove “natural” and possibly minimally/naturally processed. “Certified Organic” has an entirely different meaning and a whole added level or two of complexity.
    Certified organic surfactants need to be made in a certified facility, and kept free from contamination by non-certified materials. They need to be made from certified organic raw materials that are themselves made in a certified facility, which in turn need to be made from certified organically grown plants grown on a certified farm. Because of this, there tends to be very, very few certified organic surfactants.
    To my knowledge, there are no certified organic surfactants manufactured anywhere in the world other than the ones I mentioned, including BASF’s glucosides, which very probably cannot ever be made as certified organic materials (we’ve checked).
  • ashish

    January 6, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Thanks @Bobzchemist for valuable info.

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