Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What do you think about decyl glucoside?

In light of yesterday's post on sharing what you know, I'm posing a few questions to you, my lovely readers, and I can't wait to hear what you think!

Brandi wants to know what you think of decyl glucoside (from this post). I'd like to add a bit more and ask you to reflect on how you like it in a specific product, like a shampoo or body wash. Do you alter your pH or do you get a low pH decyl glucoside? How much are you using in your products? And finally, where do you get it? I get mine at Voyageur Soap & Candle, but I'd like to hear about other suppliers.

Share your thoughts about the use of corn starch in bath bombs in this thread!


Anonymous said...

My experience with Decyl Glucoside so far:
- in a foamer bottle hand wash together with DLS and cocobetain: if mixed in equal parts, the resulting foam lacks in structure and creaminess, even if combined with lots of glycerin
- in liquid soaps difficult to thicken
- but good mild surfactant in a miscellar cleanser for my teenage daughters who are too lazy to rinse their faces after cleansing

B, from Brussels Belgium

Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot to add: I use lactic acid to balance the pH.

Anonymous said...

I'll share a few thoughts about decyl glucoside:
- Make sure you have a good pH meter, because you will probably need to adjust the pH of your product down after adding DG.
- It's a decent foamer when compared with other non-ionics, and isn't very pH sensitive (that's a good thing).
- It's "green" and "natural" ... whatever that means ;-)
- Thickening can be challenging, but it's not hard to overcome. If you mix it with an amphoteric and an anionic, it will thicken up nicely. Or you can use a gum, like xanthan. There are lots of options, but some trial and error may be required depending on your formulation.
- It's a fantastic hydrotrope and solubilizer. I've got some stuff in my shampoo that dissolves very well in DG.
- My wife can attest to the fact that it's very mild. I got into this thing because the SLS shampoos were causing my wife hair loss. The first shampoo I made had DG exclusively and her problem disappeared. I have since then done a lot of experimentation with other surfactants, but DG is definitely a staple product for me.


Li Xua said...

It works pretty well for me. I'm using it at 10% in a shampoo, along with 30% lauryl glucoside for thickening (the data sheet says that it can be used up to 40% though). BTW, what do you think about lauryl glucoside as a thickener? I find that this combination of surfactants makes a thick shampoo without the need for any extra thickener. Unfortunately though, maybe it's just me, but glucosides have an unpleasant odor (unlike cocamidopropyl betaine for example, which doesn't smell at all, and I love it for that, but doesn't thicken either).

It does seem to be very mild indeed. I was actually looking at the ingredients in a eczema shampoo now ("Exederm Shampoo") and they market it as being free of cocamidopropyl betaine, which I know is extremely mild, but apparently not mild enough! This shampoo uses decyl glucoside as the surfactant, and it seems to have won the "National Eczema Association Award".

Here's a formula I'm trying right now: 40.7% water, 0.5% allantoin (anti-inflammatory), 30% lauryl glucoside (thickening surfactant - non-ionic), 10% decyl glucoside (lathering surfactant - non-ionic), 7% glycerin (humectant - I might have used too much), 3% hydroxypropyltrimonium honey (cationic conditioner - quaternary compound), 2% panthenol (anti-inflammatory, plus many other benefits Susan talks about at length in many posts! :), 4% dermosoft preservative (really nice sodium levulinate + sodium anisate preservative), 0.7% bisabolol (anti-inflammatory, oily substance - solubilized by the surfactants), 1.8% lactic acid (brings pH to 5, which is sadly too high to get the benefits of it being an alpha-hydroxy acid), 0.3% aromatic CO2 extracts (for fragrance - I'm thinking of using a chamomile CO2 extract in the future, since the extract smells pretty nice, and 0.3% would bring an additional 0.1% extra bisabolol).

This cleans the hair very well, but it's not conditioning enough. I don't plan on making it a 2-in-1, but I don't want my hair to feel like barbed wire after applying it either, so I'm thinking of adding 4% stearamidopropyl dimethylamine (another cationic conditioner) next time.

Craig said...

Love your blog! Thanks for all the information. I have learned so much.

I have very dry hair and sensitive skin so I love decyl glucoside. I use it in much lower concentrations than most recipes and it is perfect for me (5% DG with 4% cocobetaine in a shampoo and around 3.5% in a facewash with no other surfactants) I still have to bring the pH down though and I use citric acid.

Anonymous said...

@Li Xua: Thanks for sharing your recipe. May I suggest that you should try to keep your active surfactant matter (ASM) to 15% or less for shampoos. Both lauryl and decyl glucoside are ~53-55% ASM, so you've got 22% ASM in your shampoo, which might cause sensitization or irritation issues. I think 20% is OK for body wash, but it's a little too high for hair. The quats are excellent for conditioning effect, as is the stearamidopropyl dimethylamine; however, 4% SD and 3% quats might be overkill ;-) I'm curious where you got the Dermosoft preservative--is there an e-tailer that sells it or did you go through a distributor?


Li Xua said...

@Scott, thanks a lot for the suggestions! I was not aware of the limits on the active surfactant matter. I'm thinking now that this might also be the reason why the hair feels like barbed wire after applying the shampoo. I wasn't sure about adding 4% stearamidopropyl dimethylamine either, and thought that it might be too much.

Following your suggestions, I'm now thinking of using 15% lauryl glucoside and 10% decyl glucoside as surfactants. If this is not enough lauryl glucoside to thicken the composition, I'll likely try decyl glucoside alone at 20% (for the lather and the effectiveness, which, as far as I understand, are significantly better than those of lauryl glucoside) and find something else as a thickener. I'm thinking of 0.5% xanthan gum (I'm not a fan of the xanthan, guar or acacia gums, but I can't get carbomer and I don't know of any non-gelling "natural" thickeners (which is unfortunately all I can get) that are not oils).

For conditioning, I'm thinking of replacing the 3% hydroxypropyltrimonium and 4% stearamidopropyl dimethylamine with 6% behentrimonium methosulfate (quaternary) + cetearyl alcohol (I don't know the ratio, so I assume it's 50/50, since I see the material used in a conditioner recipe at 7% and the data sheet recommends 2%-10%). This would probably also help a bit with thickening.

I got the Dermosoft preservative from a retailer (online shop). As far as I can tell, it's Dermosoft 1388.

Anonymous said...

These question posts are a great idea. I'm a very new newbie but I have to answer this question because I first found Susan's site last month by googling "decyl glucoside shampoo" and became hooked on learning to formulate.

In spite of its drawbacks (thin, pH issues, low suds, and a faintly odd odor), the more D/G in a shampoo, the less it turns my long, thick, middle-aged hair dry and frizzy. For that reason I have to say I love it in shampoo. I haven't made a shampoo yet, but when I do I'm going start out with D/G and just work through its challenges. Small batches at first! For what it's worth, the few commercial products I've found that use D/G thicken it with xanthan gum.

Coco betaine seems to work OK for hand soap and body wash without being drying, but I can see D/G being a good surfactant for a facial cleanser where drying is more of an issue.

Thank you, Susan, for your amazing and very brainy blog. This is such an addictive hobby!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

As a quick note - sorry don't have much time today - Li Xua, why aren't you just making a conditioner? You can't put BTMS and cetearyl alcohol in a shampoo without it precipitating out, so I'd save those for a separate conditioner.

Li said...

@Susan, I haven't tried using BTMS in the shampoo yet, but it's good to know, thanks! I can definitely make a separate conditioner, but the main problem with the shampoo is that it makes the hair strands cling to each other, which makes the shampoo itself hard to use, since you end up with a tangled mess trapping your fingers (it's not that bad, but it's still unpleasant, and I imagine it would be a lot worse with long hair).

So, the plan was to include a conditioning agent, since, as far as I understand, the cationic conditioner would get attached to the anionic hair strands, making them smoother and easier to work with, while the non-ionic surfactant would continue to clean without bothering the process (unless, of course, I completely misunderstood how things work).

I'm now testing a basic formula: 71% water, 0.7% lactic acid, 4% preservative, 0.3% parfum (almost can't sense it - decyl glucoside has a powerful scent), 3.5% hydroxypropyltrimonium honey, 0.5% xanthan gum (which seems to work OK so far - it's not a typical shampoo consistency, but it doesn't feel like a gel either, and, even though it feels liquid, at the same time it doesn't fall off the palm as a normal shampoo would) and 20% decyl glucoside.

Cleans very well and seems to be less problematic than the previous attempt, which makes me think that what happened might have been related to the amount of surfactant I was using, because the amount of conditioner is similar.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Li. Are you actually testing the pH of this shampoo? This sounds like the problems one has with an alkaline shampoo, which is why I'm asking. I'm wondering why you aren't using a secondary surfactant like cocamidopropyl betaine to increase the mildness of the shampoo?

Li said...

@Susan, sure, I'm testing with pH strips and aiming for a pH of 5. If the shampoo is alkaline, then it would saponify all the oil present on the hair, which would end up in this situation, because there would be nothing left to lubricate it?

I haven't had the chance to test this last experiment yet (will see how it goes).

About using more than one surfactant - I read about the fact that using more surfactants together increases the mildness, and, as far as I understand, cocamidopropyl betaine becomes cationic in acidic solutions, so that sounds like it would work nicely, thanks!

I don't understand though why it is that using more than one surfactant increases mildness. Do you have an article about that? Also, would this happen even if the co-surfactant (cocamidopropyl betaine) is less mild than the main surfactant (decyl glucoside)?

Li said...

(actually, I did test the last experiment, sorry for the confusion :) I posted details about the results in the previous comment)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Li. It's really not a strong enough alkaline to saponify oils - think of it on par with baking soda in alkalinity, which isn't really going to saponify oils. Check out the post I wrote on why CP soap isn't a good shampoo - you can find that in the hair care section of the blog - and you'll see why alkaline things aren't good for our hair.

Testing with strips isn't all that accurate. If you want to formulate with decyl glucoside, I encourage you to get a pH meter. I've had the strips tell me it's 5 when it's 7, 7 when it's 9, and so on. Strips simply aren't accurate enough for a product like this.

If you look at the surfactants section of the blog, you'll see the posts I've written about how to increase mildness.

As an aside, is your preservative compatible with all these charged ingredients?

Can I ask you a question? (And please don't take offence...) Why are you trying to create a recipe from scratch when it appears that you are new to all of this? I've many recipes you could use as a starting point for your recipe, ones that you can modify with what you have in the house. I commend you for wanting to formulate - after all, it's my favourite thing to do - and I commend you for doing your research, but I feel like you're missing some basics. (It's like me when I learned to knit. I made a washcloth, a scarf, then a sweater. I don't walk, I sprint!) I can't encourage you enough to check out the hair care section of the blog to learn more about formulating hair care products, as well as the surfactants section to learn more about our ingredients. And I can't encourage you enough to find a shampoo on this blog - or on another blog you can trust - and try that recipe by substituting what you have at home and see if that gets you closer to a product you like.

Keep making those small batches and learning! This is such a great hobby, eh?

Li said...

@Susan, indeed, I'm very suspicious about the results I get from the pH strips. I've been thinking of getting a good pH meter for a while, but the reputable ones I find are pretty expensive, and I'm not sure if a cheap one will be any better than the strips.

I definitely need to learn a lot more about cleansing product formulation, and there's a lot of useful data here, thanks! I'm actually formulating skin care products for myself for a while now (it's how I got rid of my multiple skin problems, and why I got into cosmeceuticals in the first place - and yes, it's quite addictive! :), but I haven't spent nearly enough time looking into how to make a good cleanser.

I'll do more research and I hope I can come up with a better recipe next time (many of the ingredients you talk about are unfortunately not available to me, so I'll need to see what I can substitute and, more importantly, how and why). Thanks for all the help!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Li! I think to get good at making products, we need to be open to learning! I learn every day from my readers, from textbooks, from Facebook groups, from experimenting, and so on. I don't think I'd be having as much fun if I weren't open to learning. It's lovely to meet someone like you who is enjoying it, too.

What did you find worked for your face? I'm always curious about what other people use.

My pH meter wasn't expensive - it was a birthday present, but I've seen it around - and it's very good. I think you can spend $50 Cdn and get a good one. I took it into my chemistry lab and put it up against the really awesome ones there, and it stood up well.

Check out the shampoo specific posts in the hair care section, or go back to the series I just did on shampoo in December. I suggest this because if you can learn about how a shampoo works, why we use what we use, and what each ingredient brings to the mix, you don't need to use the ingredients I use because you'll know how to use what you have!

I'd love to see how you get along. Please come back and share your learning and your results. Not only am I eager to see how you get on, but I'm sure I'll learn something through your process. (On top of it, very few people come back with results, which is a little sad...)

Li said...

@Susan, indeed, I often see comments on forums or blogs saying "I'll let you know how it turns out", which are unfortunately that poster's last words (this can get a bit frustrating when you're trying to find out what effect something has in real life instead of on rats, rabbits and agar plates). Me, I feel like anything I say is likely to be inaccurate, which is usually the case and is also the reason I almost never post anything. I suspect there must be other people with similar feelings.

50 CDN sounds very reasonable. I found an interesting one at about the same price, but wasn't very convinced about it. I think I'll take a better look at it. Most meters I saw though had really big, thick probes, like they weren't meant for use by people making 30g of product. I wonder though, can I use a regular pH meter to test a viscous product, like a cream or a shampoo, or do I need a special probe for that?

I'll definitely have to understand how shampoos work, since that should allow me to make a face cleanser. The shampoo I made last time seems to work pretty well for this task, but I'm now concerned that there's something that I'm missing which would have unwanted effects on the skin (like maybe the concentration of active surfactant matter).

On the face, I've had trouble with seborrheic dermatitis and acne. For me, I found that dermatitis can be kept under control with emollient and moisturizing ingredients (which is why I'm not sure why none of the creams I used to buy had much effect), and acne is somewhat more complicated (involving bacteria, inflammation, sebum production, and generally a cascade of events that are taking place).

One of the first things that worked was a combination of coco-caprylate/caprate (emollient), urea (humectant and mildly keratolitic) and glycerin (humectant), which only addressed the seborrheic dermatitis (definitely top priority at the time).

Right now I'm experimenting with a cream containing babassu oil (occlusive and emollient oil containing 50% lauric acid, which is effective against p. acnes and s. epidermidis, but highly comedogenic in pure form), safflower oil (emollient oil containing 77% linoleic acid, which is often lacking in the sebum of acne-prone skin), sodium PCA (non-sticky and effective humectant), niacinamide (anti-inflammatory and stimulant of ceramide production), bisabolol (effective anti-inflammatory at 1%) and emulsifiers (cetearyl glucoside is the only non-comedogenic emulsifier I found, and works well with sucrose stearate as a co-emulsifier). With a bit of hydroxyethylcellulose, I get a nice, silky consistency.

All the ingredients are known to be non-comedogenic (not easy at all to find the non-comedogenic ones, since 95% of ingredients have a rating of at least 1 out of 5), aside from the babassu oil, which I think is mildly comedogenic (there's very little data about it), and that's probably true about hydroxyethylcellulose as well.

The cream works well. After not using anything for a few weeks, it took very little time to see significant improvements. But it feels greasy (first time I used the babassu oil - I did half-expect it to be greasy, but I had to try it anyway - where else do you find non-comedogenic lauric acid?), so I'm now looking for something water soluble that's effective against p. acnes, s. epidermidis and s. aureus. Manuka honey UMF 25 looks good so far, but I only found studies about methylglyoxal being effective against s. aureus. Ulmo 90 honey looks better, since it works by hydrogen peroxide production, which is very effective against the bacteria involved in acne.

If I can get something that works against the bacteria, then I'm thinking I could use a bit of carnauba wax to get the occlusiveness back, but without the greasiness, since I'd be using a lot less of it (it melts at 80-85 C and has a comedogenic rating of 1 - it's not 0, but at least it's small and documented, unlike babassu, and using a lot less should help too).