Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Problems with a Mild Shampoo

  • Problems with a Mild Shampoo

    Posted by natzam44 on January 12, 2020 at 4:14 am

    Hello all.

    I have recently begun working on my very first shampoo. I intend to make a mild shampoo that could be used daily.
    During my time working on this formula, I have encountered two main problems:
    1. The shampoo is not foaming as much as desired.
    2. There is not enough slip to the product.

    Here is the formula:

    Water - 62.370%
    Cocamidopropyl Betaine (30%) - 23.4% (7% ASM)
    Decyl Glucoside (51%) - 7.9% (4% ASM)
    Polyquaternium 7 - 1%
    Panthenol - 1%
    Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 - 2.5%
    Citric Acid - 0.13%
    Euxyl PE 9010 - 1%
    Fragrance - 0.7%

    Is there any reason for which the shampoo is not foaming very well? Could the slip be enhanced in some way, shape or form?

    Also, I am still quite inexperienced when it comes to making shampoos and I am not 100% sure that Cocamidopropyl betaine can be used as a primary surfactant and would like to confirm that it can be used in such a way.


    natzam44 replied 4 years, 5 months ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • ngarayeva001

    January 12, 2020 at 11:35 am

    Decyl glucoside is extremely draggy and tangly on hair and it’s not even mild. You need to replace it with another surf. I would suggest Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, which is still sulfate free and lathers much better (and cheap). Another nice option is Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate. Also, swap Polyquat 7 to Polyquat 10 because gives more slip.  You can also add watersoluble amodimethicone to make the product more conditioning.

  • natzam44

    January 12, 2020 at 5:00 pm


    Thanks for the reply. 
    I shall give that a go!

  • Gunther

    January 12, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    - You’d need to increase CAPB to 10, 12 or even 15% ASM to get good foam out of it.
    - Reduce the decyl glucoside to 10-20% of the CAPB on a ASM basis.
    - Remove panthenol or at least reduce it to claim ingredient levels (0.1-0.01%) as it does nothing, increases cost, reduces viscosity and foam.
    - Citric acid should be added as needed to get a target pH, not just added as a fixed amount.
    - Or add some other surfactants as @ngarayeva001 suggested.
    - I agree that PQ-10 is much better than 7.
    - Add some silicones.

    @natzam44  just a question, were you able to thicken it with 2.5% Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 ?

  • Cafe33

    January 12, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Are there any situations where polyquat 7 is superior or does polyquat 10 eclipse it completely? 

  • natzam44

    January 13, 2020 at 12:17 am

    Thanks for the input.
    I was indeed able to thicken this formula with 2.5% crosspolymer. You may want to add more or less depending on your preferences for shampoo thickness but it generally does the job.

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