Thursday, April 15, 2010

Surfactants: Taurates (or taurides)

Taurates (or taurides) are anionic acylamino alkane surfactants with a chemical structure very close to that of the isethionates. They are gentle cleansers used to increase the viscosity in a surfactant mix, and are generally used as co-surfactants. They were used a lot in commercial shampoos and body washes, but have now been replaced by SLeS due to cost. The lathering is on par with a soap, which means it's pretty darn good, and it is considered high foaming and high lather.

You will find taurates as liquids or pastes. For instance, the Herbarie carries Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, which is found in a paste with 30 to 31.5% active ingredients. It can be used at up to 50% in your creations, and has a pH of 7.5 to 8.5, so it's slightly alkaline. The cocoyl part indicates that it comes from coconut oil.

Or you can use Sodium methyl oleoyl taurate (SMO Taurate at the Herbarie), which comes in a liquid format with a pH of 7.0 to 8.5 and 42% active ingredients. It can also be used at up to 50% in your creations. The oleoyl part indicates it comes from oleic acid, which could be from olive oil or any other oil containing this fatty acid.

The taurates help thicken mixtures, and they are great in combination with cocamidopropyl betaine to make the mixture even thicker (in a good way, not a Jell-o way!)

Taurates are suitable for all skin types thanks to their gentle cleansing and moisturizing. Those with really oily skin or acne prone skin might find taurates a little too moisturizing, which can lead to break outs. Because the pH of this product is neutral to alkaline, taurates are a great choice for baby care products.

Here are a few ideas for formulating with the taurates...

Foamer bottle facial cleanser (part 2) - this is a facial cleanser in which I use SMC taurate (liquid) for the gentle cleansing my oily skin needs.

Consider making this body wash recipe with SMO taurate (the liquid) in place of the SLeS for a very moisturizing, very gentle body wash.

You can try using the liquid or the paste in a liquid shampoo, but the paste may thicken it quite a lot, so test it before adding any of your thickeners. Consider substituting it for the SLeS, Bioterge 804, or BSB or LSB. Do not substitute it for the cocamidopropyl betaine as this is a good surfactant for increasing mildness and viscosity. If you are using the paste, start small - something like 5% - and see how thick it gets!

Join me tomorrow for phosphate esters!


kontakt said...

Wow. I really wondered about
Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, which is in my favourite shampoo - as primary surfactant (or first in the INCI, which I suppose is what "primary surfactant" means. I googled it about a year ago and didn't find much, except that it's a surfactant and a good foamer. Here's even a link to someplace I can buy it! *happy*

ME G said...

Hi Susan, what about Sodium Methyl Oleyl Taurate in powder form, would this be good for shampoo bars?
Thank you, Irina.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi ME G! I don't know the answer to this question. The only way to know is to try a small batch and see what happens. I can tell you that when I have substituted the SCI with another powdered surfactant, it didn't go well. The products were softer and melted quicker. But let us know how it turns out!