Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Polysorbate 80 as primary surfactant?

  • Polysorbate 80 as primary surfactant?

    Posted by Cosmetic_Chemist on April 26, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    Hi everyone, 

    Would you recommend using Polysorbate 80 as a primary surfactant for a liquid soap with Coco Glucoside as the secondary? Would this thicken on its own or do i need salt or Hydroxyethylcellulose? 

    Does the following concentration make sense?

    Polysorbate 80 - 15 %
    Coco Glucoside - 5 %

    I have never worked with polysorbate 80 so any advice would be appreciated! 

    Thank you!

    ketchito replied 2 years, 2 months ago 11 Members · 16 Replies
  • 16 Replies
  • ketchito

    Member
    April 27, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    @Cosmetic_Chemist Why are you using polysorbate 80 as your main surfactant in a liquid soap? This material is rather a emulsifier/solubilizer. You need a detergent. What is the main attribute you look for with this formula?

  • Paprik

    Member
    April 27, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    Yeah, I am with @ketchito.
    Polysorbates are most like superfatting agents/solubilizers. So share the purpose of the product and we can help you.

    None of those are salt responsive, so they won’t think with salt. You will need a gum/polymer to thicken it. (HEC did not work in my surfactants at all. Always separated.)

  • Abdullah

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    as Paprik said HEC don’t work with high surfactant specially glucoside. 

    Also if you dont have anionic surfactant it can not clean properly.

  • Cosmetic_Chemist

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    The customer does not want me to use anything besides these two as the base, something about their definition of ‘clean’ and ‘natural’. Is it unlikely to work? I was very skeptical as well but thought i’d get another opinion. 

  • ketchito

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    @Cosmetic_Chemist I hate when clients make these nonsense statements, but I understand now your situation. If it was me, I’d try a sample switching the concentrations you showed in your first post, making the glucoside the main surfactant, and see how it performs. 

  • Camel

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    The customer does not want me to use anything besides these two as the base, something about their definition of ‘clean’ and ‘natural’. Is it unlikely to work? I was very skeptical as well but thought i’d get another opinion. 

    Polysorbate 80 is considered “natural” to them? Then they should have no problem with other “natural” surfactants. ????

  • MarkBroussard

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    @Cosmetic_Chemist

    You would be better off using Coco Glucoside as your primary at 15% to 20% and Polysorbate 80 at 2% to 3%.  Your client is probably following some standard that defines Polysorbate 80 as natural even though it is ethoxylated.

    As for thickening it, the Glucosides are very difficult to thicken with anything other than gums.  Since they are non-ionic, you won’t get any thicking effect by combining it with a Polysorbate.

    Will it work … Yes, if you use Coco Glucoside as your primary surfactant.

  • WarrenChemist

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    Abdullah said:

    as Paprik said HEC don’t work with high surfactant specially glucoside. 

    Also if you dont have anionic surfactant it can not clean properly.

    While anionics are certainly the most effective when it comes to removing oils, I wouldn’t necessarily say that other surfactants don’t clean properly. I think you can achieve cleansers with amphoterics and nonionics that will be sufficient for majority of the population when it comes to cleanliness.

  • Cosmetic_Chemist

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you everyone! 

    I will try switching Coco Glucoside as the primary surfactant and report what I get. 

  • natiyo123

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    is polysorbate considered clean and natural?? doesnt it contain trace amounts of ethylene oxide/dioxane??? its also very contaminating to produce. Have you tried sodium lauroyl lactylate or similar?

  • OldPerry

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    @natiyo123 - clean can mean anything that anyone wants it to mean.
    Natural can also mean almost anything as long as you don’t claim 100% natural.

  • Abdullah

    Member
    April 29, 2022 at 1:02 am

    Abdullah said:

    as Paprik said HEC don’t work with high surfactant specially glucoside. 

    Also if you dont have anionic surfactant it can not clean properly.

    While anionics are certainly the most effective when it comes to removing oils, I wouldn’t necessarily say that other surfactants don’t clean properly. I think you can achieve cleansers with amphoterics and nonionics that will be sufficient for majority of the population when it comes to cleanliness.

    They clean different soils and differently. 

    So they can be more drying but still dont clean properly.

    By proper clean i mean after some times you can feel it that your hair is not being cleaned no matter how many times you wash it. 

  • natiyo123

    Member
    April 29, 2022 at 7:31 am

    yeah, sorry I used the wrong word I meant HOW??? is it considered clean and natural***

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    April 29, 2022 at 10:04 am

    “Clean”, esp. when combined with “natural”, typically indicates  advertising hype has produced a garbage preservative system.  With high Tween 80, one can expected some degree of preservative neutralization.  

  • zetein

    Member
    May 3, 2022 at 3:09 am

    @ketchito
    Why is peg-80 sorbitan laurate used as surfactant in many formulas? Not just secondary, I’ve seen it listed right after aqua/water, and that product foams and cleans well.  How does it stand out among its family?

  • ketchito

    Member
    May 3, 2022 at 11:43 am

    @zetein Peg-80 sorbitan laurate has a higher ethoxylated head and a shorter alkyl chain compared to polysorbate-80, and that’s why it’s better fitted as a detergent (for instance, it foams better). And since it’s a highly ethoxylated detergent, it has very little irritation potential, and that’s why it’s used in tear free shampoos, either as a primary or secondary surfactant.

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