Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Thickening with MgCl salt

  • Thickening with MgCl salt

    Posted by Anonymous on January 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I am trying to optimize a SLES/LAO system in terms of foam stability and surface elasticity. 

    In short: stable bubbles.

    - Is the amount of salt needed to thicken a solution proportional to the amount of active matter (surfactant)? Or is the concentration (amount of water in the mix) important as well (for example to double viscosity of a 10% active formula opposed to a 30% active formula )?

    - I know that NaCl ist he salt of choice. 

    MgCl on the other hand is more powerful because of it’s divalent ions. Is there a rule of thumb how much „stronger“ MgCl is? What are the downsides of MgCl?

    - Lowering the pH wih citric acid already thickens the surfactants. So I need less salt, right?

    Thank you for your ideas and answers.

    bill_toge replied 9 years, 10 months ago 2 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • bill_toge

    January 9, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    if you want to create stable bubbles in a surfactant-based product, the simplest way to do it is to add a polymeric thickener that is capable of suspending particles; in my experience, Synthalen W400 (ex 3V Sigma) and Aculyn 88 (ex Dow/Rohm & Haas) are particularly good for this

  • Anonymous

    January 10, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Sorry, perhaps this was a little confusing. I want stable foam = bubbles. Not bubbles inside the product.

  • Anonymous

    January 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Any idea how much magnesium chloride you can use without destabilising the system?

    Is there any ingredient that stabilizes a MgCl rich system?
  • oldperry

    January 12, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Yes, if you thicken with an acid/base you need less salt.  

    I don’t think you will get much advantage from MgCl versus NaCl.  
    Downside of MgCl is it makes it like you are washing your hair in hard water.  This has the potential to be dulling to your hair.  Although maybe there wouldn’t be enough of an effect to notice.
    You can probably use 2% or less of MgCl without a problem.
    You should do a salt curve analysis.  
  • Anonymous

    January 13, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Thank’s a lot.

  • bill_toge

    January 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    personally I’d avoid mixing cations altogether; it alters the structure of the surfactant micelles (which are what give you your viscosity) and can cause odd/unpredictable results, especially if you’ve got a pearliser or an opacifier in the formula too

    to be honest, I’d be surprised if you get any viscosity at all with magnesium chloride - if the difference between sodium and magnesium laureth sulphate is anything like the differenc between sodium and magnesium stearate, the SLES may even crash out

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