Friday, October 1, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Polyglucoside/lactylate blend in a body wash

If you don't know about my love of surfactants yet, then you haven't read this blog for very long! I'm addicted to making body washes, so I thought I'd try a new surfactant I've never used before in my new favourite body wash recipe! (Although for some reason, I forgot to include the PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate!) I've also experimented with polyglucoside/lactylate in a foaming face wash, which we'll see tomorrow.

The big change in this recipe is the polyglucoside/lactylate surfactant mix! I don't tend to use decyl glucoside much because the pH is so high, but I thought this blend with a pH of 5.0 to 7.5 or 8 would work well in my body wash.

I bought the polyglucoside/lactylate blend from Creations from Eden, but you can find it at the Herbarie and at Ingredients to Die For as well. You can find it under the trade names Ritafactant 138AN or Iris ISO. Unfortunately, I can't offer the data sheets on either of these brand name surfactants because they are password protected - no doubt to keep the information from people like us who might only buy 1 kg a year instead of hundreds of drums.

This blend contains about 54 to 59% active ingredients, it has a shelf life of about 24 months, and you can use it at 10% to 70%. It is considered a very mild cleanser.

We met decyl glucoside in the post about alkyl polyglucosides (so click if you want to see the longer version), but let's do a quick recap. Decyl glucoside is a very mild non-ionic cleanser that works well as both a primary or secondary surfactant as it is a good foamer. It has an alkaline pH - 7 to 9.5 - so you'll have to bring your pH down with citric acid or another acidic ingredient to ensure it reaches the right pH for skin and hair. (Another data sheet states the pH is 11.5! EEK!) It is about 48% to 52% active ingredients in the surfactant, and the suggested use is 4% to 40%. This is a great ingredient for a conditioning shampoo or body wash as it improves the cationic conditioning in your products, as well as offer foam stabilization.

Sodium lauroyl lactylate is considered an ultramild cleanser that is substantive to our skin and plays well with cationic polymers like polyquat 7 or honeyquat. It reduces feelings of tackiness and can be a viscosity builder (when found in flake form). It is an emulsifier and moisturizer, so you should be able to add small amounts of oils - like fragrance or light carrier oils - without fear of separation.

So put these two things together and we should have a very very mild cleanser that offers moisturizing, a reduced feeling of tackiness, and a boost to the conditioning power of your product.

I chose to use salicylic acid this time instead of white willow bark because I wanted to avoid the swampy brown colour the extract adds, but I needed to figure out how to dissolve the salicylic acid because it likes to dissolve in alcohol but this isn't really a good application for alcohol. I could dissolve it in propylene glycol, but I didn't want to use that either (not for any philosophical reasons, just because I couldn't reach it on the top shelf with my sore back). The solubility increases as you heat the water, so I heated my water phase and added the salicylic acid to it. It worked! Hooray! (As a note, 1% salicylic acid in this recipe is quite high and will result in a foamy top in your body wash. The solubility of salicylic acid is about 0.5 grams in 460 grams of hot water, so I have far too much in here...but I'm experimenting!)

And I've used SCI without stearic in this body wash because I have tons of it around and like to use it for the creamy feeling as well as the thickening. You can use SCI with stearic in this product if you want - you probably won't need the thickening at the end, but it won't become clear the way this product might!

10% cocamidopropyl betaine
10% SCI (without stearic)
20% polyglucose/lactylate blend

19.5% water
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
5% myristamine oxide
5% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed oat protein
1% salicylic acid

3% honeyquat
0.5% preservative
2% fragrance oil
2% panthenol

Up to 2% Crothix to increase viscosity.

In a heatproof container, weigh cocamidopropyl betaine and SCI and heat until melted. Add the polyglucose/lactylate blend and heat until well mixed.

In another container, weigh all the heated water phase except the salicylic acid, and put into your double boiler. When this phase reaches 65˚C to 70˚C, add the salicylic acid and mix until dissolved.

Combine the heated water and heated surfactant phase in a larger container and mix until incorporated. When the mixture reaches 45˚C to 50˚C, add the cool down phase and mix well. When the mixture comes to room temperature - this may take over night - check the viscosity. Add up to 2% Crothix - 1% then 1% - until it reaches the viscosity you like.

So what do I think? It wasn't as thick as it should be with the SCI and cocamidopropyl betaine, so I added 2% Crothix. It still isn't as thick as I expected, but it will do for now. It feels really lovely on my skin, and I felt well moisturized after showering, but I think a shot of PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate would offer the more long lasting moisturization I've come to know and love in the previous recipe.

I do like this surfactant - it feels really lovely and creamy with SCI and cocamidopropyl betaine - and I will use it in other creations. So join me tomorrow to formulate with polyglucoside/lactylate blend in a body wash!


sfs said...

I have had good results dissolving salicylic acid by heating it with glycerin and then adding the heated water phase to it. It involves an extra step but it seems to work well.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi sfs. It's a great idea to dissolve salicylic acid in the the glycerin, and I think this is more effective than what I did, which was to dissolve it in the entire water phase. (More isn't necessarily better!) Next time, I will dissolve it in my humectant - I will probably try some propylene glycol, but glycerin is also a great option for the increased lather and the moisturizing! Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Hello, so happy I found your page! I was just wondering if you think it's ok to mix colloidal silver (are you familiar with that?)with salicylic acid. Obviously, there would be other ingredients, but like in a bodywash, toner or acne creme? Can those two ingredients be mixed together, do you know? Thanks for your time!

Rolanda said...

When I use this surfactant, I don't heat it. It will never thicken. In order to make my body wash thick with this surfactant, I mix glycerin, xanthum gum, and guarcat together. Then I stream the mixture into my water phase. The mixture gets as thick as the body washes found in your local store.

melian1 said...

i came across a study a couple of years ago about salicylic solubility. unfortunately i didn't save the link, but i did capture all the references and tables and so on. it is too long to put here, but i will email you the info.

what i got from it and used to dissolve my salicylic acid for my face wash was glycerin and sodium citrate together (the article is about synergistic solubilizing) which put the solubility way up, tho probably not to the full 10.8% (from a 0.18% in distilled water alone and a 1.9% in glycerin alone) total for the blend of urea, sodium citrate, peg 300, & glycerin because i didn't use the urea or peg 300. other blends that worked well were prop glycol, peg 400, peg 4000, sodium citrate @ 12.4% - peg400, peg4000, urea, sodium citrate @ 12.9% and peg300, peg400, urea, sodium citrate @ 13.1%.


Oh wow thank you. I just finally figured out that this (polyglucoside/lactylate blend) is what is in the baby wash that I use to wash my face currently... Well I think anyway. It lists them separate though but it is the only surfactant in the baby wash then the rest us similar ingredients to shampoo listed below. I am also in love with their Shampoo as well. I am hoping to try and make something similar to it. Do you think there are ingredients hidden within in this? Also can I use Liquid Germall Plus preservative instead of the japanese Honeysuckle and Honeysuckle they use? What's in this that would bring the PH down from decyl glucoside?
The ingredients are:
Deionized Water, Decyl Glucoside (Coconut Oil), African Butyrospermum Parkii (shea Butter)*, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Argan Oil, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Rosemary Extract, Sea Kelp Extract, Vitamin E, Guar Gum, Lonicera Capifloium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) LoniceraJaponica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Avocado Oil. Thank you so much for any help you can offer. I'm new to your website but I am so glad I found it! Hope you are having a good day 😊

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nicole! If we break down this recipe we can see
deionized water
decyl glucoside
shea butter
aloe vera liquid
argan oil
rosemary extract
sea kelp extract - use any protein you like here
Vitamin E - not really necessary
Guar gum - the thickener, use any you choose
Flower extracts - these are passing as the preservative
avocado oil - more freaking oil?

Definitely use liquid Germall Plus at 0.5% in the cool down phase.
To bring down the pH of the decyl glucoside, feel free to use citric acid or another acid at 0.1% at a time to see what happens. I can't give you a definite answer here as every recipe is different, and we have to experiment to get the right amount.

If I were you, I'd add some cocamidopropyl betaine at up to 10% to thicken the product and make it much milder. Check out my posts on increasing mildness in the surfactants section of the blog!


Thank you for your thoughts on this recipe! It's so funny when I first started using this face wash and shampoo a few months ago I did not know even half as much as I know now after reading and checking many things on your blog. I wouldn't know that the decyl glucoside (Coconut oil) wasn't actually coconut oil for starters. I would've kept on thinking the INCI listed was what it actually said in the parenthesis. I also dont think i would have understood preservatives and their importance as well as i do now and just so many more things too much to list. I'm so glad to have found your blog. I'm pretty much a stay at home mom except for the 3 days a week when I take care of my mother in law and although that keeps me pretty busy this is a different kind of busy and I find comfort in it in a way I can't explain. Its very calming and exciting at the same time! Anyways thank you so much and I'm so glad your mom is doing better.


Oh i will definitely check out the posts on increasing mildness of surfactants. You have so many blogs ive bounced back and forth all over this blog lol. I just get lost in it. It is so fascinating I cant get enough!!