Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Polyquaternium-37 & Quaternium-80

  • Polyquaternium-37 & Quaternium-80

    Posted by Camel on May 22, 2024 at 11:57 am

    I have a few questions about these two ingredients that I was hoping someone could provide some insight for me.

    1. Can polyquaternium-37 powder be added after combining water and oil phases, but before high shear mixing? The seller is suggesting it must be added to the water first with high shear, but the thickening can make it a bit more difficult to work with this way.
    2. The seller also suggests that “it can contain oil or silicone in the formula up to a maximum of 10%.” Is this true? I am making a leave-in conditioner with BTMS, Cetearyl Alcohol, and 1% dimethicone. Could I replace the BTMS with the polyquaternium-37 and keep the dimethicone from separating?
    3. What is the typical usage rate of quaternium-80 in a shampoo to achieve a conditioning effect? Would 0.1-0.2% active be sufficient or is more needed? I am working with a 50% dilution in DPG.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice. Normally I would run through some experiments, but these are relatively expensive ingredients for me, and I have a limited quantity to play with right now. Thanks in advance!

    Graillotion replied 3 weeks, 2 days ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • ketchito

    May 23, 2024 at 6:58 am

    I wouldn’t replace your BTMS for PQ-37. PQ-37 is a cationically modified polyacrylate, and it has a different function than BTMS. If you want to used, I’dd add some of the PQ-37 to your original base, and see how it feels.<div>

    Quaternium-80 is a silicone cationic polymer which mixes the best of both worlds, the solubility of water soluble cationic polymers, and the lubricity of silicones. I’d start with 0.2%, and increase if needed.


    • Camel

      May 24, 2024 at 1:10 pm

      @ketchito Thank you! I took your advice and kept the BTMS while adding PQ-37 at 0.4% and was able to achieve the thickness in the end-product I was aiming for without making the water too thick to work with.

      I also tested the Quaternium-80 at 0.2% active in my shampoo; it’s looking good, but I can’t necessarily say I notice a difference vs. the version with PQ-10, although I’m not particularly great at observing these things.

  • chemicalmatt

    May 24, 2024 at 12:06 pm

    First, let me agree - as usual - with @ketchito: polyquaternium-37 has different function and application than BTMS, so not to make a 1:1 correlation. On the other questions: yes, disperse PQ-37 into water first as it is difficult to hydrate when other materials are vying for water. Adding later will be MUCH more difficult unless it happens to be in the emulsion format like Salcare SC-96. Yes, PQ-37 will successfully allow oils & silicones, and much more than 10%, since it’s 3D structure in water makes for a Pickering effect with good apparent yield value; but…BTMS happens to be one of the best cationic emulsifiers for dimethicone. Finally, polyquaternium-80 has modest hair conditioning activity so I recommend 0.50% as floor. PQ-80 finds its best use in hair color retention formulations being a good film-former.

    • Camel

      May 24, 2024 at 1:14 pm

      @chemicalmatt Thank you so much for clarifying! Yes, BTMS was doing fine on its own with the silicone. I was more interested in seeing if I could replace it to simplify the formula, but I am using both now for the increase in viscosity the PQ-37 is providing.

      Just to be sure, are you referring to Polyquaternium-80 or Quaternium-80? I am seeing PQ-80 pull up as a different product in my search, but the one I am referring to is Quaternium-80 (the cationic silicone polymer). Would this change your statement?

    • Graillotion

      May 25, 2024 at 9:16 pm

      @chemicalmatt … Can use of PQ-37 handle shear in an emulsion?

      I finally got mine (came by boat to Hawaii). I have found both approaches among vendors.

      My preferred method…would be to put it in the water phase…. which means it will go through the emulsification shear process. This is generally 2 minutes for me, upon phase combination…and often 45 seconds at the very end, when the last couple of ingredients are tossed in.

      Aloha. ????

      Anyone can answer the question….of…. can PQ-37 handle shear.

      (For that matter…. I can just go shear the PQ-37 & water slurry I made last night….for two min….and see if I lose viscosity.) BTW Matt…. NICE ingredient!

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by  Graillotion.

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