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 answers.com. 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!