Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Troubleshoot cationic guar

  • Troubleshoot cationic guar

    Posted by Mssthng052 on October 3, 2023 at 11:04 pm

    I am working on a clarifying shampoo but my final product always sediment within a few days. I understand cationic does not mix with anionic, however, this is a cationic polymer which can be blended with anionic solutions, per the manufacturer and some commercial shampoos are evidence of this as well.

    I have tried several methods such as hydrating the GuarCat last, adding it in the water phase first, or to the overall blend last. I’ve adjusted pH first, last, and not at all if the ingredient calls for it (self-hydrating cationic guar). {I’ve noticed some blends lose viscosity after hydrating when I adjust the pH above 6 which the manufacturer says it shouldn’t}. I have added the surfactants by ionic nature before and after Cationic Guar, such as amphoteric/nonionic/anionic. I’ve also varied the final ph between 5-6.5. Still, I notice settling at the bottom. I’ve used Activsoft CD/C13/C14 and Nhance CCG45 but I still get settling of different degrees. I even had a blend with no cationic guar and thus, no settling; however, it’s not as viscous and foam isn’t as luxurious. So you can see, I’ve done quite a number of experiments! See my formula below:

    Water —qs to 100

    Dermofeel PA3 (chelator)— 0.3%

    Activsoft C13/C14–0.3%

    Sodium lauroamphoacetate— 3%

    Geogard ECT— 1%

    Cocamidopropyl Betaine—13%

    PolySuga Mulse D9–14%

    Sucrose Cocoate —2%

    Decyl Glucoside—5%

    Sodium methyl lauroyl taurate—4%

    Sodium Lauroyl Glycinate— 5%

    Citric acid— qs to pH

    Sodium bicarbonate/hydroxide—qs to pH

    Sodium chloride— qs~1%

    Should I change my chelator? Should the pH be above 7?…

    I add everything in blended phases to the main beaker (the water phase) in the order listed. Any suggestions will be taken into account. Thank you for reading and for your assistance!

    Mssthng052 replied 4 months, 2 weeks ago 5 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Nadin

    October 4, 2023 at 8:46 am

    Hello. There are complex ingredients that cannot be thickened with guar, xanthan, or sodium chloride. Try to thicken with a carbomer. It turns out to be a very stable product. I did a gel for intimate hygiene PH 4.5. I couldn’t thicken it with anything except a carbomer. A carbomer needs to be used that requires neutralization.

    • Mssthng052

      October 5, 2023 at 7:57 pm

      It’s for a “natural” formulation course so I can’t use carbomer

  • ketchito

    October 4, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Hi! It might me the case that your system is sensitive to high amounts of electrolytes. Try making your product without Sodium chloride to see if you still have the issue (if you need more viscosity, you can use Cocamide DEA, PEG-4 Rapeseedamide, Crothix Liquid, or a similar ingredient to build viscosity).

    • Mssthng052

      October 5, 2023 at 7:58 pm

      Yes, I’m aware of those ingredients but it’s for a “natural” formulation course so I can’t use them. I wanted to use a hydroxysultaine but it’s not permitted in my courses ☹️ sorry I should’ve mentioned that before

  • paprik

    October 4, 2023 at 2:17 pm


    I would just try to make a simple formula first and after tried to add more anionic or other surfactants. Try it simply with one anionic, amphoteric and non-ionic and see how it goes.

    And change anionic if that doesn’t work etc..

    What worked for my cationic guar now was to add that into water first, lower pH to 5 ish and mix for 15 minutes. After I add all other surfactants.

    You are also using Geogard ECT, I would never go above pH 5 ish with this one, despite what the supplier says. And also would add a booster.

    Good luck, keep us posted 🙂

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by  Paprik.
    • Mssthng052

      October 6, 2023 at 3:36 pm

      Ugh I never was a simple girl but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try less anionic surfactants after all this time and energy. Thanks Paprik, I’ll let you know!

  • ozgirl

    October 4, 2023 at 4:03 pm

    Why are you using so much Poly Suga Mulse D9? I have only ever seen it used at 1 or 2% as a fragrance solubilizer.

    • Mssthng052

      October 5, 2023 at 7:56 pm

      I’m using so much to solubilize the inula. It doesn’t solubilize with just anything, surfactants included. So I had to use something that can solubilize triglycerides in low amounts and not just essential oils and fragrances. After looking at several products that has similar ingredients (4U by Tia shampoo) that’s what seemed to work well. I used so much because that’s about how much I used in trials. I’ll admit that I can reduce it but I’d have to conduct more experiments to find the correct ratio that works with my surfactant ratio.

  • Mssthng052

    October 18, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    Hello again. First I’d like to thank you all for your contributions. Your suggestions had made my issue so much clearer that I was able to formulate what I desired! I removed an anionic surfactant, checked and rechecked my electrolyte content, and decided to just forgo the solubilizer. It was not going to give me the result I desired at such amounts where it had to be used for my ideal formulation. So thanks again for all that you do and what you have done! Blessings 😀

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