There is this impression that decyl glucoside is one of the only mild surfactants, but it's not. One of the really big problems with using it is the pH. Decyl glucoside is almost always found to be on the alkaline side of the pH scale - pH 8 or over - and this isn't always the best thing for our skin!
Click here for a body wash I made with alkaline surfactants. It wasn't an insignificant pH!
Alkaline products feel slippery or slimy on our skin. Think about how handmade soap feels on your skin. That's the feeling of alkalinity! (I'm referring to the slippery part for soap. That's what makes it feel great!)
From this post: So for judging detergents, it's safe to assume that most - if not all - are considered mild cleansers when it comes to personal care products.
- Gentle or very mild - this surfactant is unlikely to cause skin irritation when used at the suggested amount or lower. It is unlikely to bother your eyes.
- Mild - this surfactant is unlikely to cause skin irritation when used at the suggested amount or lower, but don't get it in your eyes. It could cause irritation for people with very sensitive skin.
- Not so mild - this surfactant may cause mild skin irritation when used at the suggested amount or lower, and it may cause eye irritation. It could cause irritation for people with sensitive to normal skin. The only one that falls definitely in this category is SLS.
All the surfactants I mention on this blog are considered gentle to mild. If they aren't, I'll note that.
I don't use SLS because I couldn't find it at my local suppliers, and by the time I did find it, I already knew which surfactants I loved most.
If you don't have a pH meter or good pH strips, I don't recommend using decyl glucoside. Alkaline products aren't great for our hair or skin. And consider this - most of our preservatives need an acidic environment in which to live. Otherwise, they're inactivated.
Liquid Germall Plus and Optiphen have no pH restrictions. Geogard Ultra is pH 3 to 7, Germaben II is pH 3.0 to 7.5, Mikrokill COS is pH 3 to 8, Cosmocil CQ is pH 4 to 10, and so on. Check the pH ranges of your favourite preservative in the preservatives section of the blog.
SCI or ACI because it's very mild and offers great foam and lather. Plus, your skin and hair will feel conditioned afterward! (I recommend ACI, the liquid form, when making a liquid shampoo!) Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate is considered quite gentle to mild, and it offers good foam. SMC or SMO taurate is also considered gentle to mild, but it has a pH of 7.5 to 8.5, and you might need to bring that down if you combine it with disodium cocoamphodiacetate.
As for foam boosting, decyl glucoside is terrible for lathering and foaming. Substituting just about any surfactant will result in better lather and foam, so you don't really need a foam booster.
Surfactants section of the blog
Hair care section of the blog
Surfactants: Basic, general information
I get my packaging from either Voyageur Soap & Candle in Surrey, B.C. or Aquarius Aroma & Soap in Mission, B.C. Both have lovely containers, although Aquarius definitely has some I've never found anywhere else, like the pump in this picture.
Does anyone have suggestions for where you find your packaging? (Please include links or URLs.) If you're a business, remember that this isn't about advertising your company but helping the readers of this blog! I will let you know if you're veering off into self promotion.
All the packaging posts on the blog
In this post, Ghislaine said: Looove your extremely informative blog. I make a hair conditioner using Elements b&b flakes which contain cetearyl alcohol, PEG40 castor oil and stearalkonium chloride. I added 1% panthenol, 1%cyclomethicone and 1% avocado oil. It leaves my hair incredibly soft but has no body. What can i add to keep the body in my hair? Thanks.
First, let's figure out the ingredient you are using as your main conditioning agent. You're using Incroquat CR, which means you're making more of a cream rinse instead of a conditioner. Nothing wrong with that, but we should know which ingredients we're using so we can figure out how to modify the recipe! (The CR stands for cream rinse.) Incroquat CR is an amazing softener and static reducer, and I include it in my products for those reasons. Incroquat CR isn't great with the substantivity or adhering to our hair strands, which means you should see your hair being weighed down less than if you used something like Incroquat BTMS-50 or Ritamulse BTMS-225.
I have a few thoughts on what might be causing this. One, the cetearyl alcohol in the Incroquat CR is a little waxier and heavier than cetyl alcohol, and it might be too much for your hair. Two, the oil might be unnecessary. And three, you may be using too much conditioning agent.
in this post, and eventually found that I could reduce the amount of Incroquat BTMS-50 in the product by 50%! I didn't expect that result. But it did lead me to question the amount of conditioning and moisturizing we think we need in our hair. I encourage you to start low and work your way up because you probably need far less conditioning than you think. As well, really consider how much oil you're putting in a product. I see huge amounts of oils in conditioners, on par with body butters, and very few hair types need that kind of oil. If you have fine hair, I would avoid oils at all costs and find something lighter that offers moisturizing and smoothing, like dimethicone or an ester.
I don't know your hair type or specific recipe and process so I can't help you modify your recipe, but I would remake your conditioner with only Incroquat CR, water, and preservative, and use it a few times to see how your hair feels. If your hair is still weighed down, reduce the amount of Incroquat CR. If it's still weighed down, consider that you might not need a conditioner and might be okay with just a cationic polymer or a detangler like cetrimonium chloride.
Hair care section of the blog
Basic cream rinse recipes and information
Modifying cream rinses
Detanglers using cetrimonium chloride
Have a question? Visit this post and add your thoughts for future Weekend Wonderings! I will be checking there first, then the comments and e-mail messages for topics.