Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Sudden Thickening of Shampoo

  • Sudden Thickening of Shampoo

    Posted by natzam44 on March 18, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    Good afternoon,
    I figured I would bring you all some non-sanitizer related problems to diversify the forum posts.

    I created a basic shampoo today with some stuff that I had laying around. Here is the formula:
    Water - 63.0%
    Cocamidopropyl Betaine (30%) - 23.4%
    Sodium Alpha Olefin Sulphonate (39%) - 10.3%
    Polyquaternium 7 - 1%
    Sepimax Zen - 1%
    Phenonip - 0.8%
    Fragrance - 0.5%
    Citric Acid - pH 5.5

    Basically, all was going well until I added the preservative (a blend of multiple parabens) when suddenly, the product thickened to a near unusable point.

    My question is: Was the thickening caused by the addition of the paraben blend? If so, what would you advise as a solution? Use less preservative (it is for personal use only)? Remove the Sepimax and rely on the parabens for thickening?


    natzam44 replied 4 years, 3 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Jennycat

    March 19, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Is the pH the same before and after adding the parabens? Some acrylate thickener might be thickened by increasing pH.

  • natzam44

    March 20, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    I will check my sample’s pH.
    Thinking about it, that would make sense.


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