Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cationic quaternary compounds: Incroquat OSC

Incroquat OSC is Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-3 Distearoylamidoethylmonium Methosulfate, Polysorbate 60. It is 25% active, meaning it contains 25% PEG-3 (I'm going to call it this because I don't think I can type it over and over again!) with the rest being the fatty alcohol, and polysorbate 60.

You'll remember cetearyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol that boosts the substantivity of a cationic ingredient, like the PEG-3. Polysorbate 60 is a high HLB emulsifier, so it's included to help emulsify your conditioner into water, because normally a cationic quat is an oil soluble only product. It will also thicken your conditioner so it's not a thin, watery liquid (like you'd get with cetrimonium chloride alone).

The PEG part in PEG-3 (etc.) means it has be ethoxylated to become a PEG ester and it's been quaternized to be positively charged (cationic). This is the key conditioning ingredient in OSC.

This is a diakyl quat - a quaternized diamido amine. The diakyl quat part is important - the more hydrophobic (water hating) the conditioning agent is, the more substantive it will be to your hair. Mono-alkyls (like cetrimonium chloride) are lightly conditioning, diakyl quats will be offer medium conditioning.

It is an emulsifier, so you can include oils and butters in your conditioner (and you can use it as the emulsifier for a lotion - see recipe below). It is meant as a "one step conditioner", so the formulas you will find generally call for 4 to 6%, meaning you're getting 1 to 1.25% PEG-3 (etc.) as the active ingredient.

So what does this all mean? Incroquat OSC seems very similar to Incroquat CR. It's a good conditioner on its own and makes "economy" conditioners, but I don't know if you'd want to use it alone. I'd want to use it as a secondary conditioner with something like BTMS or cetab as the main conditioner. It's going to increase the viscosity of your conditioner - as all cationic quaternary compounds with fatty alcohols included will do - and it's going to offer conditioning to your hair.

So why use this over another conditioner? (In the spirit of complete disclosure, I've never used it, so I can't tell you what it feels like...if anyone wants to send me a sample, I'll make up a few formulas!)

It's inexpensive, like Incroquat CR, and it can be used with minimal additions. A pound was $5.00 at Southern Soapers, compared to $7 a pound for CR, and $15 for BTMS. (Or in Canada, up to $25 per pound!) If you are making tons of conditioner and selling it, cost may be a consideration.

Although, given that you are using a maximum of 7 grams per 100 grams of product, and 100 grams of product should last you a month, you should be able to get 65 - 100 gram bottles of conditioner from 1 pound of conditioning emulsifier.

It can also be used cold - you would melt your OSC with 25% of the water phase, then let it cool, then add the rest of the ingredients. (Having said this, I find it quite easy to create a conditioner with an all warm phase, so again I'm not sure how this is a benefit. What do you think?)

It is intended to be used with minimal additions like oils or silicones. Most of the formulas I've seen use 4% to 6%, maybe 2% of a hydrolyzed protein, preservative, and water. That's it.

And some people really like to use the PEG-3 Distearoylamidoethylmonium Methosulfate. It's found in a lot of commercial conditioners - St. Ives, for example - and it is a good conditioning agent.

Here are a few links if you're interested in learning more about Incroquat OSC...
Click for the data sheet and a few recipes here! (Croda)
Click here for a recipe for basic, oil free body butter or basic, oil free body milk (Southern Soapers)


Mich said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for posting about the OSC! I would be happy to send you some to road test (I'll e-mail you.)

As a "control condition", I made up a super-simple single-use batch of 5% OSC with water a few weeks ago. Definitely not very exciting, and not as good as the plain 5% BTMS mixture that I also tried.

I think I'll give it another shot in combo with other quats, etc.

Thanks for such a super blog!


HappyCrafter said...

Hi Susan,

Cannot find a supplier for this!
Is this not available for home crafters anymore?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi HappyCrafter. I think Southern Soapers was the only place that carried this. I don't know of other suppliers, sorry.

HappyCrafter said...

Yes, I bought some on sale.
Trying to get other suppliers to carry it. Very frustrating formulating and not being able to get supplies.

Tami said...

Hi Susan,
Can this be used in a solid conditioner bar?

Anonymous said...

It's now available at The Chemistry Store. Here is a link.


Dianne Kelley said...

I didn't see an answer to Tami's question about the Incroquat OSC being used in a solid conditioner bar? I'm looking to make some of these and I do have quite a bit of the Incroquat OSC on hand.
Does the Incroquat OSC work in the solid conditioner bar?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I don't know if it can be used as I haven't tried it. Why not give it a shot and let us know how it worked! It seems like it should work.

April Turley said...

Chemistrystore.comhas this product