Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Hand soap with polyquats

I've always thought about making a liquid hand soap - I don't make CP soap, so I don't make liquid soap - but I thought I could make a nice syndet one out of my lovely surfactants, some moisturizing ingredients, and my polyquats.

What's the goal of a hand soap? We want something that cleanses (duh!), we want something that moisturizes, and something that doesn't get extraordinarily foamy and lathery.

I'll start with my surfactants. When I want something creamy, I go for SCI first. It feels creamy and luxurious on your skin, and it will help thicken the mix. I'm using SCI with stearic to increase the moisturizing in this product. I'll use my cocamidopropyl betaine as a co-surfactant to thicken and to increase mildness. And I think I'll try using ammonium laureth sulfate (ALeS - I buy it as Steol CA-230) because it is considered a mild cleanser that thickens well with salts and has stable foam in hard water, which what we have in the Fraser Valley.

As usual, feel free to play with the surfactants in this mix. If you don't have SCI with stearic, use SCI without stearic. If you don't have ALeS, try another mild surfactant you like. But don't switch out the cocamidopropyl betaine - it's essential for increasing mildness and thickening the product! 

Okay, so now I need to incorporate some moisturizing ingredients. I want to add something to this mix to make it feel more emollient, so my first choice here is PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, which will help thicken the hand soap and re-fatten skin. I'll add some glycerin as it is a great humectant that won't be washed off when I rinse my hands.

And, as the point of this post is to use polyquats, I'll choose a polyquat that suits my needs. I think I'll go with polyquat 7 as that's one I use quite a lot and a titch of polyquat 44, as I've not used this before in a non-hair cleansing product. (I could add up to 0.3% Tinosan into this soap as a preservative and anti-bacterial, but it doesn't play well with cationic ingredients and I really want to include my polyquats in here!)

I'm including lavender hydrosol because I like using it, and I'm including 10% aloe vera to help thicken the mixture and moisturize my skin.

I'm thinking about my fragrance in advance. What would make for a nice hand soap fragrance? I think I want something light and airy, something that won't stay on my hands for ages, so I'm thinking about using a green tea fragrance oil as it won't be too much if it doesn't wash off completely and it goes nicely with the green colour I'd like to use to fit in with the bathroom decor!

20% cocamidopropyl betaine
15% ALeS
5% SCI with stearic acid

39.5% water
3% PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate
3% polyquat 7
1% polyquat 44
3% glycerin
10% aloe vera
10% lavender hydrosol

0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance
up to 2% Crothix (optional)

Weigh the ALeS, SCI, and cocamidopropyl betaine into a heatproof container and heat until the SCI has melted. Weigh the second heated phase into a heatproof container and heat until the SCI has melted in the other container. Remove both from the heat and add the second heated phase slowly, stirring as you go, until it is well incorporated. You may want to heat it a little longer to ensure it is well incorporated.

When the temperature reaches 45˚C to 50˚C, add the cool down phase BUT DON'T ADD THE CROTHIX! (Read more about Crothix here if you've never used it before.)

When the mixture has reached room temperature or has sat for at least four hours, test the viscosity. Add 1% Crothix, and mix very well. If you want it a bit thicker, add another 0.5% and stir well. Repeat until you get the viscosity you want.

So what do I think? I should have added 1% Crothix, but ended up with 2% after a slip of my hand! It's too thick with that much Crothix, but it does feel nice. It lathers well and it doesn't leave behind too much fragrance. My hands don't feel too moisturized but they don't feel too stiff and dry either. This definitely needs to be packaged in a pump bottle - I put it into a disc cap bottle so I wouldn't waste a more expensive pump bottle if it was awful - and I need to use less next time as I had quite the lather going on! (I've since moved it to a pump bottle because I like it! Hence the picture above.)

I consider this a success!

A note: My mom is apprehensive about using it because she thinks the colour makes it look like dishwashing liquid. She is very sensitive to the aesthetics of things (like my products), so if you want to make this soap in that kind of colour scheme, I'd suggest using a frosted bottle or some kind of fancy container that matches your bathroom. This really is a good topic for a post...

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating another moisturizing hand soap with emollients and polyquats!


Kuldip said...

Have you thought of adding
Glucamate DOE- 120 as thickner instead of Crothix?
Also to make it creamy try Stepan Tab-2V nice feel.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kuldip. The Glucamate DOE-120 sounds interesting, but I can't access this through any of my suppliers. And I can't find any reference to Stepan Tab-2V on the Stepan site. What's the full name or INCI? (Although I probably can't get that ingredient either!)

Robert said...

"Something that doesn't get extraordinarily foamy and lathery"? Have you ever had hand wash that foamed too much? I can hardly imagine such a problem.

OK, so your mother must've been thinking of Palmolive or Fairy dishwashing liquid...but Prell shampoo was green too. As is creme de menthe; I don't know, maybe the good stuff is uncolored.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Robert! I have had this problem! I made a lovely hand soap with SCI and SLSa as some of the ingredients and it was bubbly and foamy and way too much! It took forever to rinse off and I had to suppress the foam! If I had kids, a sink full of bubbles might be great, but not when I'm in the middle of cooking!

Christian Emmer said...

Hello Susan,

I would liek to replicate teh recipe of Attitude Handsoap Revival. The listed ingredients are:

Water 40 -70
Sodium coco-sulfate 10 -30
Decyl glucoside 7 -13
Coco glucoside 1 -5
Glycerin 3 -7
Sodium chloride 1 -5
Glyceryl oleate 1 -5
Sodium benzoate 0.1 -1
Potassium sorbate 0.1 -1
Fragrance 0.1 -1
Sodium citrate 0.1 -1
Sodium gluconate 0.1 -1
Citric acid 0.1 -1

The componay provided roughly % which I noted behind. Could you please try to replicate?

Many thanks

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Christian. Welcome to the blog. I don't replicate things any more, as I mention repeatedly throughout the blog. If you have these percentages, why don't you try replicating it given you know how the product feels?

Will said...

I love the weird question, and I think I have one. To a commercial handsoap, such as softsoap, is there any additive(s) that can be added into the product to make it less drying/more skin friendly? Just being lazy lately. Will/Cleveland

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Will. I'm addressing your question in Monday, October 5th's Weekday Wondering.

Lehni R. Kersher said...

Hi is this a clear gel before the addition of fragrance? thanks.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lehni! Nope, the SCI makes it cloudy. You can find all kinds of other formulas that will be clear on the blog if you do a search for them!