Thursday, April 23, 2009

Better crafting through chemistry: Honeyquat

So what exactly is honeyquat and how do you use it?

Honeyquat is a cationic quaternary polymer - meaning it is a positively charged conditioning agent. It is different than the Incroquat BTMS that we have been using in hair care products in that it is a polymer and not a cationic compound, like the BTMS. The INCI is hydroxypropyltrimonium honey.

A polymer is "Any of numerous natural and synthetic compounds of usually high molecular weight consisting of up to millions of repeated linked units, each a relatively light and simple molecule." From Whereas a compound is something produced or created by combining two or more ingredients. A compound would be heterogeneous - not completely uniform, like a rocky road bar - and a polymer is homogeneous - where you can't tell each part from another. So our polymers are homogeneous and uniform; the BTMS, for instance, is a compound made up of various ingredients to make a product.

As a cationic quat, it is substantive. This means it is positively charged and binds to our negatively charged hair and skin to offer conditioning and moisturizing. And it's a humectant, and we can't get enough of those! And it's kinda cool that it's derived from honey yet isn't sticky. (Is it a better humectant than glycerin? The brochure claims it is - but take that with a grain of salt as with any company led studies.)

If we use honeyquat on our hair, it will adsorb to the hair and it will penetrate the hair shaft for more conditioning. It offers better wet combing and conditioning, as well as the reduction of static build-up on dry hair.

If we use it on our skin, it increases the moisture uptake ability - how much moisture our skin can handle - and leaves us feeling more moisturized and conditioned. It is suitable for leave on and rinse off products.

Honeyquat is a viscous liquid you'll get in a bottle. It's water soluble, not oil soluble, so you can include it in any of your water based creations. (Meaning anhydrous creations like lotion bars are not a suitable application for honeyquat!) It's suitable for surfactant systems as it won't reduce the lather and doesn't rinse off, so it's a great choice for hand lotions and other creations that might be washed off during the day. You can use it up to 5% in the cooling phase of your creations.

To summarize...Honeyquat is a water soluble cationic polymer that should be added to the cool down phase of your creation. It acts as a humectant and moisture binder. It can be used in skin and hair care products to increase conditioning and substantivity.

Join me tomorrow to learn how to use honeyquat in your creations!


Row said...

This stuff sounds very interesting,I've been reading about it for sometime now but I've been unable to find a Canadian supplier. If you know of a Canadian supplier I'd be grateful as I'd like to experiment with the stuff.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I don't know of a Canadian supplier - I ordered mine from the States (The Herbarie). Are you anywhere near the Fraser Valley, B.C.? If so, I could offer you a bit out of my own supply for experimentation...

Row said...

Thank you so much for your offer but I'm in Thunder Bay. I try to order Canadian because of the shipping costs. I ordered from "Ingredients to die for" (Texas) and the Fed Ex charges were unbelievable, however their oiless moisturizer (Liquid Silk) is to die for so I can justify it...somewhat. Honeyquat will go on my wish list. Thanks again Row

pearlyn said...

don't mind me asking.

can Honeyquat be added into heated water phase?

i wanted to mix Honeyquat with low molecule hyaluronic acid (do not form a gel as its lower viscosity) before adding it into my heated water phase to ensure smooth mixture as hyaluronic acid tends to have agglomeration.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

The manufacturers suggest you add it in the cool down phase, below 50˚C. If you do decide to add it to the heated phase, let us know what happens.

Here are two data sheets about honeyquat - this one and the other one.

pearlyn said...

wow. you are really good at sourcing all these data files.

anyway, my sister tested by using higher temperature at 70 degrees. she says the color morph slightly and there's a very very slight smell.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thanks for the information, Pearlynn. You know I'm a big fan of learning everything we can about our ingredients, our preferences, and our practices and you've just added more information we can all use! There is a reason to add it to the cool down phase - to avoid the smell and colour morph! And this is an indication that something has happened to the honeyquat that is probably not a good thing!

Anonymous said...

babe. just to ask, what color is your honeyquat?

my honeyquat from lotion crafter is very light yellow but my honeyquat from another seller is dark yellow.

I wonder if the dark yellow honeyquat is going to expire or something.

Tara said...

My Honeyquat from The Herbarie is watery thin. Is it supposed to be thick?

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, I've been trying to find info regarding Honeyquat, if it's difficult to shampoo out or builds up on hair. I want to order some but am not sure if maybe Polyquat-44 would be the better option...

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Aesthete. As far as I know, Honeyquat will wash out of hair easily, and shouldn't cause build up.

Polyquat 44 is great at rinsing out of hair, and my recent experiments with it have proven to me that I need to include this in everything! I'm loving the polyquat 44 in my conditioners and leave in conditioner. That's not to say I don't like honeyquat, but I try to avoid humectants in my hair care products because I'm a frizzy girl. The nice thing is you can use less of the polyquat 44 (0.5% vs. 3% to 5%). which is a cost saving! If you are avoiding humectants in your hair care products, then polyquat 44 is probably the better way to go.

Anonymous said...

Thank for the reply. I'm ordering both now :-)!!!!

Jewelz said...

Oh thank you! I made a body butter with aloe vera juice, shea butter, etc,... and I added honeyquat for the humectant. I could not figure out why it had a "fishy" smell. I added it to the water phase.

Selena said...

This is such wonderful information! Question: might you use honeyquat in a cp shampoo bar?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I don't make CP shampoo bars, so I can't suggest using a cationic polymer in one. Perhaps someone else can make some suggestions?

IrishMolly said...

I have a Question about Honeyquat PF INCI: Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey. I purchased it from lotion crafter and used it at a 2% in a bath salt soak. It really conditioned my skin and hair but the next morning I had little beads of moisture on my skin all day. It was horrible! Is that normal? Being that it is a humectant and I live in Florida? Or is it something that I am having a reaction to? I will include the recipe that I used it in.
20% Epson Salt
22.3% dendritic salt
14% Baking Soda
7% Citric Acid
15% SLSa
8.7% Glycerine
5% Carrier Oils
5% Polysorbate 80
2% Honeyquat
1% FO

I have used everything in the same percentages before except the Polysorbate 80 and the Honeyquat before. I had made bubble bath bars with polysorbate 80 and didn't have that extreme condensation reaction so is Honeyquat really that powerful of a humectant? I would try again with Honeyquat in a lotion but it was such a horrible feeling that I wanted to ask the forum first.

Anonymous said...

Would you recommend using honeyquat in a sugar scrub either emulsified or a regular oil based scrub? Would it be hard to preserve? I am using a preservative.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Irish Molly! I don't think you'd notice the hygroscopic powers of honeyquat with all that glycerin in the mix. That's a huge amount of glycerin!

Hi Anonymous. Please put your name on your posts or I will delete them. All you have to do is put a quick "Bye, (name)" on it.

I've answered your question in today's (Early) Weekend Wonderings. The short answer: Yes for the emulsified scrub, no for the oil based scrub.

Danuta Kildan said...

Canadian supplier in London, ontario

Kat said...

HI Susan,

I'm curious about using honeyquat. I am just about to try one of your shampoo bar recipes, and it has honeyquat in it. But I've read here, and on suppliers sites, that it is water soluble, not oil soluble. So is this gonna be okay in a solid shampoo or conditioner bar?

thanks for you help!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kat. If you take a look at the ingredients in a shampoo bar, you'll see a lot of them are water soluble. They have to be to wash your hair! If you look at a conditioner bar, you'll see a lot of the ingredients are oil soluble, but this product contains a lot of an emulsifier, which is how we manage to incorporate honeyquat!

Deb said...

I make shea butter and mango butter face creams with sesame or almond oils added. I also use 2% honey in the water phase with 3% glycerin. I use pure honey, because I am a beekeeper and always have plenty on hand. What is the advantage (or not) of using honeyquat over real honey?

Amanda Dvorak said...

Please answer. Is Hydroxypropyltrimonium honey the same as honeyquat? Are they interchangeable? Sorry if that's a dumb question

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Amanda! I'm going to suggest to you that the answer to your question is found in the post, and I'll refer you back there.

There are no dumb questions: Just opportunities to learn something new!

If you want to learn more about INCI names, check out the FAQ for more information!

Amanda Dvorak said...

WOW I don't know how I missed that!!! Thank u

B said...

I hope this convo is still alive. I'm trying to make a hair gel without things that are bad to my hair like glycerin. I am looking for something with hold, I was researching polyquat -11 whenI sumbled on honey quat, I also need something that won't cause build up.
Does honey quat offer any hold?