Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating viscosity

  • viscosity

    Posted by jforge21 on July 8, 2024 at 11:07 am

    Hey everyone! I’m new here, so glad to be gleaning lots of great info. I’ve been working on my beard wash for about 4+ months now and I’ve gotten REALLY close to a great product, but I’m having the hardest time attaining the viscosity that I’d like. I feel like I’ve done all the ‘things’ that I keep finding in my research, but I wanted to reach out here for help.

    - Salt seems to do nothing

    - Everyone says Cocamidapropyl Betaine is a thickening surfactant, but I don’t find that to be true.

    Outside of these two things, what are some things I can try? Please also keep in mind this is intended to be a clean/natural wash. I’m getting a wash that has an ‘okay’ viscosity,’ but still a bit runnier than I’d like.

    Thanks in advance everyone!

    jforge21 replied 1 week ago 3 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Perry44

    July 8, 2024 at 12:32 pm

    If you want some useful replies you’ll need to give a list of your ingredients. Betaine generally only helps thicken in the presence of other anionic surfactants. And salt only works with certain surfactants.

    • jforge21

      July 8, 2024 at 12:58 pm

      Thank you for that! I’ve been trying lots of different formulations, however, one that I can give an example for is actually one that I’ve been trying to match of a product that I really liked. I read your article on ingredient lists and i wanted to test my skills and see if i was able to get close to this particular products viscosity and failed. I’ll write down their ingredients in sequence and then in ( ) I’ll put what I thought might be close to the percentages.

      There’s also other recipes I’ve tried to replicate simply to see if I could attain a certain viscosity and have been unsuccessful.

      aloe vera juice - (50%)

      cocamidopropyl betaine - (30%)

      sodium decyl glucoside / sodium lauryoyl lactylate - (10%)

      glycerin - (10%)

      citric acid - (2%)

      hemp seed oil -

      ethylhexylglycerin / phenoxyethanol - (1%)

      rice bran oil - (1.5%)

      essential oils

      I’ve never found anything that mentions cocamidopropyl betaine only thickening with anionic surfactants, so that’s good info to have.

  • ketchito

    July 9, 2024 at 6:17 am

    Let’s put it this way, if that formula was an artery, not even plaques would clog it 🙂

    There are several papers and books on the effect of both inorganic salts and CAPB to build viscosity of different anionic surfactants, but since you don’t have any anionic, they are useless.

    Both Aloe Vera and Glycerin are useless in a cleansing product…not only they impair viscosity and foam without any real benefit, they increase the contamination risk of your formula. For sure the preservative you have will be overwhelmed by them.

    • jforge21

      July 10, 2024 at 10:08 am

      Those are really interesting points. Can you clarify what you mean? So obviously that formula is just my best guess, however that ingredient list is an exact ingredient list of a product I’ve used that has a very pleasant viscosity I was simply trying to replicate, but it’s not super thick.

      As far as what you mentioned about the aloe and glycerin, I’d love to know more about what you said. I’ve been in the beard game for a long time and I’ve never seen a beard wash without either of those ingredients.

      What do you mean that my preservative will be overwhelmed by them?

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