Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating What is a better surfactant?

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  • Microformulation

    Member
    October 2, 2023 at 8:35 am

    Your question is far too vague. What is the usage? What parameters are you using for “better.”

  • Paprik

    Member
    October 2, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    I second Microformulation …

    But here would be my rank and why

    1. SLES - due to the ethoxylation (milder)

    2. SCS and SLS

    Maybe SLS would be 3. as SCS sounds better for customers.

  • Perry44

    Administrator
    October 2, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    Agreed that the question is too vague to answer. But considering cost, effectiveness and versatility, it’s hard to beat good ol’ SLS.

  • fotis83

    Member
    October 2, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you for your answer, yes, I did not express my question correctly. I wanted to say which is better, which is less irritating for our body.

  • ketchito

    Member
    October 3, 2023 at 7:54 am

    If mildness is your only requirement, then ethoxylated are always better. Now, formulas are not solutions of a sole ingredient, and you can make a surfactant like SLS milder by mixing it with an ethoxylated anionic (like P&G have done for years), with an amphoteric (like CAPB), or with polymers (like PQ-10).

  • mikethair

    Member
    October 3, 2023 at 4:04 pm

    My approach is entirely different. For around 20 years I have saponified plant oils and avoided synthetic surfactants. I see numerous benefits. Not least, they are “self-preserving” as there is no need to add any preservatives.

    In our manufacturing facility, we produced various face wash, body wash, and shampoo products for customers globally on a Private-label basis.

    These products complied with the cosmetics regulatory authorities in various countries including Japan, the USA, and European countries. I also trained company owners in African countries to saponify plant oils and produce face wash, body wash, and shampoo products.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  mikethair.
    • Perry44

      Administrator
      October 4, 2023 at 5:29 pm

      Well, to be fair, saponification is man made, synthetic chemistry. There is no plant out there making soap that you would use in a cosmetic product.

      • mikethair

        Member
        October 4, 2023 at 6:58 pm

        Yes indeed. However, the scientific literature does not identify any toxic impacts of potassium cocoate (saponified coconut oil). The same cannot be said of the synthetic surfactants I have identified in my post.

        • Perry44

          Administrator
          October 7, 2023 at 7:52 am

          You didn’t identify any specific synthetic surfactants in your post. Which are you referring to and what do you mean by toxic impact?

  • ketchito

    Member
    October 5, 2023 at 8:10 am

    Can you please cite your references and what you mean by “toxic” impact? The most comprehensive and authoritative reviews on the topic (CIR and the Opinions from the Scientific Commitee of the EU) show how soaps (like sodium or potassium cocoate) underperfom in dermatological, ocular and different other tests, if you compare the same reviews done for SLES, sulfosuccinates, etc. The difference of course is not gigantic, but was relevant enough to prefer synthetic surfactants in personal cleansing systems.

    • mikethair

      Member
      October 5, 2023 at 9:50 pm

      The “toxic impact” refers to the toxicity of a substance and its ability to cause harmful effects. It’s a general term widely used and no need for it to be referenced.

      Of course, CIR and the Opinions from the Scientific Committee of the EU are valid. But, in my research, I prefer peer-reviewed, published articles in scientific journals. These carry more weight in my opinion than committees focusing on just one element of industry sector.

      As I have stated, the scientific literature does not identify any toxic impacts of
      potassium cocoate (saponified coconut oil). The same cannot be said of
      the synthetic surfactants I have identified in my post.

      Can you quote any peer-reviewed, published articles that contradict my stance?

      • Perry44

        Administrator
        October 7, 2023 at 7:15 am

        The CIR and SCCS do use peer reviewed, scientifically published research. In fact, it’s a requirement of what they use to determine ingredient safety.

        You’re being a bit vague on what you mean by toxic effects or “harmful effects”. So, it’s difficult to find any peer reviewed research as you’ve asked because it’s unclear. For example, I would say irritation is a “harmful effect” and a peer reviewed paper has already been posted here that demonstrates Potassium Cocoate is more toxic (harmful effect) than synthetic surfactants. So, challenge accepted and met, or do you mean something else by toxic effect?

        • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  Perry44.
        • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  Perry44.
  • ketchito

    Member
    October 6, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    It feels like Deja vu, hehe. Both CIR and Scientific Opinion of the EU are reviews of evidence, usually leaving out very weak studies. I won’t add any since I did last time, If I remember correctly. I also attached Unilever’s patent of a syndet bar which was shown to be milder than regular soaps. I’m attaching now a few screenshots:

    1) one from the 2nd world conference on detergents, where they found that in a tallow/cocoate based soap bar, the more cocoate you had (similar to the type of oils from vegetable sources), the more irritating the bar. Both bars were more irritating than a mild synthetic bar (control).

    2) one from a very nice book “Surfactants in personal care products and decorative cosmetics”, where both SDS and Na laurate scored the highest in the Zein test (ability to denature skin proteins).

    3) one from the book “Surfactants in cosmetics”, where it’s shown that an isethionate bar is milder than conventional products containing SLS or soap.

    The point is that there newer and more effective technologies than standard soaps, to make milder products. Actually, the “soap chamber test” takes the name from soap since it was designed to assess the irritancy of soaps.

    • mikethair

      Member
      October 6, 2023 at 7:57 pm

      Yes indeed, a controversial area. We manufactured soap bars using coconut and palm oil. The formulation was designed to produce a long-lasting bar. We had five or six moulds, each capable of producing 150 bars of 65 grams, so 900 bars daily.

      Our bars were sold globally, and mostly we were struggling to keep up demand for our own brand and those were made for Private Label brands.

      In summary, customers liked our soap bars. And, there are other companies doing the same. Some consumers are not interested in “….. newer and more effective technologies than standard soaps, to make milder products.

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