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Sanyo Chemical

Selecting the Right Surfactant for Cosmetics

Surfactants are key ingredients in many cosmetics formulations. Learn how they are used as a cleanser, emulsifier, dispersant, penetrator or thickener. Surfactants can also be added as wetting, foaming or solubilizing agents to various product formulations. Discover the wide range of surfactants from Sanyo Chemical offering high performance and low-irritancy. Download formulation guides for your hair care, skin care and make-up applications.

Surfactant Applications and Key Benefits

Surfactants in Hair Care Applications

Surfactants in Hair Care Applications

What are Surfactants?

Surfactants are an essential part of most hair care products. They are widely used in washing, conditioning and styling formulations to perform the following functions:

  • In shampoos as cleansing and foaming agents
  • In hair-care products as conditioning agents
  • In hair styling products as wetting agents

As the role of surfactant varies from one hair-care product to another, the type of surfactant suitable for the application also varies. A surfactant molecule consists of a hydrophobic part and a hydrophilic part. The hydrophobic part usually consists of a hydrocarbon chain of variable length between 8 to 18 carbon units long. The hydrocarbon chain length strikes the balance between mildness and detergency of the surfactant. Surfactants with shorter chain lengths have stronger grease removing properties; a longer chain length leads to increased mildness and lower lathering properties. The hydrophilic part of the molecule consists of various functional groups which determine the nature of the surfactant and its key properties.

Surfactants for hair care

Surfactants suitable for major hair-care applications

Shampoos

Shampoo is the basic hair care product with the largest market share of the hair care cosmetics market. Most hair contaminants, such as excess sebum (natural skin oil), dandruff, environmental contaminants, and residues of other hair care products are insoluble in water. These contaminants cannot be effectively removed by water alone. A good shampoo cleanses the scalp and hair by lifting these contaminants so that they may be washed off. Shampoo surfactants cause the formation of micelles which wash away oil and dirt from hair with water. The hydrophobic part of shampoo surfactants is typically short in length so that it does not cling to the hair and is easily washed off. Shampoo surfactants are generally anionic or amphoteric in nature. Anionic surfactants provide most of the detergency and lather in shampoos. Amphoteric surfactants are used for decreasing the irritancy of shampoo formulations. They are also useful for increasing the active content level of the product and for improving the quality of lather. Mild, tearless shampoos may be based entirely on amphoterics. Non-ionic surfactants are generally not used for cleansing in shampoos due to their harsh detergency which may lead to excessive degreasing and cause scalp irritation. Some mild non-ionics are however suitable for use as foam-stabilizers and thickeners. The table below summarizes the benefits of various types of surfactants used in shampoo formulations.

Conditioners

Conditioner surfactants are meant to deposit onto hair rather than being wash off like shampoo surfactants. A longer carbon chain length gives the surfactant molecules greater ability to cling on to the hair surface. Consequently, they are not easily washed off during the rinsing process and form the basis of conditioning. Cationic surfactants (positively charged) are generally used in hair conditioning formulations. Shampoo surfactants leave a small negative charge on hair which lifts the hair cuticles. The positive charge on cationic surfactants helps remove the negative charge smoothing down the cuticle. The table below summarizes the benefits of cationic surfactants used in hair-conditioner formulations.

Type
Chemical Basis
Benefits
Anionic
Surfactants
Ether Carboxylate
Surfactants
  • Excellent hard-water resistance
  • Low irritation to skin and eyes
  • Excellent foaming properties even under weak acidity
Sulfosuccinate-Based
Surfactants
  • Suitable for general use as base materials for hair-care
    products
  • Prevent excessive degreasing
  • High foaming properties
Sodium Polyoxyethylene
Alkyl Ether Sulfate
Alkyl Sulfate Surfactants
  • Suitable for use as base material for foaming/cleaning
    agents
  • High foaming properties and excellent detergency
Amphoteric
Surfactants
Acetic Acid
Betaine-Types
Imidazoline-Types
  • High foaming properties and foam stability
  • Low irritation to the skin
  • Usable in combination with both ionic and non-ionic
    surfactants
Amino Acid-Type
Surfactants
  • High foaming properties for hair-care and body-wash
Non-ionic
Surfactants
Alkanolamide of
Fatty Acid
  • Effective as thickeners and foaming agents for shampoos,
    face washes, and body soaps

Sanyo Surfactants for hair care applications

Sanyo chemical offer a wide range of surfactants for use as base material and additives in shampoos, conditioners and other hair-care and styling products. Browse through the selection of products or contact us for recommendations based on your specific requirements.

Anionic Surfactants for Shampoos

Product Name
INCI Name
Uses and Features
BEAULIGHT LCA
BEAULIGHT LCA-25F
BEAULIGHT LCA-25N
BEAULIGHT LCA-30D
SODIUM LAURETH-4
CARBOXYLATE, WATER
  • Easily biodegradable
  • Moderate detergency
  • Also work under acidic conditions
  • Low irritancy
BEAULIGHT LCA-25NHLAURETH-4
CARBOXYLICACID, WATER
  • Base material for shampoos
  • Non-neutralized; can be neutralized
    according to users' purpose
BEAULIGHT SHAASODIUM LAURYL GLYCOL
CARBOXYLATE, WATER
  • Easily biodegradable
  • Base material for shampoos
  • Moderate detergency
  • Does not cause excessive degreasing
  • Produces a large amount of fine and
    rich foam
  • Also work under acidic conditions
BEAULIGHT ESSDISODIUM C12-14 PARETH-2
SULFOSUCCINATE, WATER
  • Moderate detergency
  • Produces a large amount of foam
  • Low irritancy
BEAULIGHT SSSDISODIUM LAURYL
SULFOSUCCINATE, WATER
BEAULIGHT NA-25SSODIUM LAURETH
SULFATE, WATER
  • High detergency
  • Produces a large amount of foam
  • Low irritancy
  • Compatible with various surfactants

Amphoteric Surfactants for Shampoos

Product Name
INCI Name
Uses and Features
LEBON 2000
LEBON HC-30W
COCAMIDOPROPYL
BETAINE, WATER
  • Impart excellent tactile properties
    to hair
  • Contains minimal amounts of
    sodium chloride
LEBON 2000HGCOCAMIDOPROPYL
BETAINE, WATER
  • Contains minimal amounts of
    sodium chloride
LEBON 2000LLAURAMIDOPROPYL
BETAINE, WATER
  • Excellent thickening effect when
    used with anionic surfactants
LEBON MY-30WMYRISTAMIDOPROPYL
BETAINE, WATER
  • Excellent foaming property and
    thickening effect when used with
    anionic surfactants
LEBON LD-36LAURYL BETAINE,
WATER
  • Produces a large amount
    of foam
  • Exhibits high foam stability
LEBON CIBSODIUM
COCOAMPHOACETATE,
WATER
  • Low irritancy to skin and eyes
  • Hard water tolerance
  • Pale color compared with
    conventional products
LEBON APLSODIUM
LAURAMINOPROPIONATE,
WATER
  • Produces a large amount
    of foam

Foam Stabilizers and Thickeners for Shampoos

Product Name
INCI Name
Uses and Features
EMULMIN 862PEG-190 DISTEARATE PEG-190
  • Thickener suitable for thickening
    shampoos and hair conditioners
FROTHMEISTER
HG-375
PPG-75-PEG-300 HEXYLENE
GLYCOL PPG-75-PEG-300
  • Suitable for use as:
    • foaming auxiliary
    • foam stabilizer for shampoos
      and body washes
FROTHMEISTER
GC-48
PPG-24-GLYCERETH-24
FROTHMEISTER
SP-10
PPG-10 SORBITOL

Surfactants for Hair Conditioners

Product Name
INCI Name
Uses and Features
ECONOL TM-22BEHENTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE,
CETEARYL ALCOHOL
  • Does not contain low-boiling solvents
  • Solvent stripping process is not
    required
  • Easily biodegradable
ECONOL TMS-28STEARTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE,
WATER
  • Used to impart:
    • Smoothness and elasticity
    • Excellent detangling ability
LEBON TM-18STEARTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE,
PROPYLENE GLYCOL
LEBON TM-18PASTEARTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE,
ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL,
WATER
LEBON TM-16CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE,
WATER
CATION DSVDISTEARYLDIMONIUM CHLORIDE,
ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
  • Easily adsorbed on hair due to
    high molecular weight
  • Imparts smoothness to hair
CATION SSTEARALKONIUM CHLORIDE,
ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
  • Imparts smoothness and elasticity
  • Excellent detangling ability to
    rinsed hair
CATION LQQUATERNIUM-33,
BUTYLENE GLYCOL,WATER
  • Imparts long-lasting smoothness
    and softness to hair

Formulations for hair care applications

Surfactants in Skin Care and Make-Up Applications

Formulations for skin care and make-up applications

Product Datasheets

BEAULIGHT ECA

Sodium Trideceth-4 Carboxylate. BEAULIGHT ECA by Sanyo Chemical Industries is an anionic ether-carboxylate type detergent base. It shows excellent foaming properties under weakly acidic to neutral conditions. It possesses moderate detergency and does not cause excessive degreasing of hair and skin. ...

BEAULIGHT ESS

Disodium C12-14 Pareth-2 Sulfosuccinate. BEAULIGHT ESS by Sanyo Chemical Industries is an anionic sulfosuccinate type detergent base, exhibiting low irritancy to the skin and eyes. It possesses excellent foaming properties under weakly acidic to neutral conditions and moderate detergency. It does no...

BEAULIGHT LCA-25N

Sodium Laureth-4 Carboxylate. BEAULIGHT LCA-25N by Sanyo Chemical Industries is an easily biodegradable ether carboxylate-type anionic surfactant with low irritancy. It exhibits high foaming properties under weakly acidic to neutral conditions. It shows moderate detergency and high hard water tolera...

BEAULIGHT LCA-30D

Sodium Laureth-4 Carboxylate. BEAULIGHT LCA-30D by Sanyo Chemical Industries is an easily biodegradable, anionic, ether carboxylate type detergent base. It exhibits low irritancy and excellent foaming properties under weakly acidic to neutral conditions. It possesses moderate detergency and does not...

BEAULIGHT NA-25S

Sodium Laureth Sulfate. BEAULIGHT NA-25S by Sanyo Chemical Industries is an anionic detergent base which exhibits low irritancy. It possesses high detergency and high foaming properties. It is developed using narrow range ethoxylation. It shows compatiblity with various surfactants. BEAULIGHT NA-25S...

BEAULIGHT SHAA

Sodium Lauryl Glycol Carboxylate. BEAULIGHT SHAA by Sanyo Chemical Industries is an anionic hydroxy ether carboxylic acid type detergent base. It produces large amount of foam. It exhibits good foam stability, low irritancy and moderate detergency. It does not cause excessive degreasing of hair and ...

BEAULIGHT SSS

Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate. BEAULIGHT SSS by Sanyo Chemical Industries is an anionic surfactant which produces a large amount of foam under weakly acidic to neutral conditions. It exhibits low irritancy to the skin and eyes. It provides no unpleasant slimy feeling to the skin and is capable of r...

ECONOL TM-22

Behentrimonium Chloride (and) Cetearyl Alcohol. ECONOL TM-22 by Sanyo Chemical Industries acts as a conditioning agent. This biodegradable grade imparts excellent ability to retain moisture & softness to hair. It offers outstanding detangling ability when mixed with other surfactants, oils and moist...

IONET S-20

Sorbitan Laurate. IONET S-20 by Sanyo Chemical Industries is polyhydric alcohol fatty acid ester type non-ionic surfactant. It acts as an emulsifier, solubilizer and dispersant. It exhibits low toxicity and low irritancy. IONET S-20 is recommended for use in creams and hydrophilic ointment bases.

IONET S-60V

Sorbitan Stearate. IONET S-60V by Sanyo Chemical Industries is polyhydric alcohol fatty acid ester type non-ionic surfactant. It is a solubilizer, emulsifier and dispersant. It shows low toxicity and low irritancy. IONET S-60V is suitable for use in creams and hydrophilic ointment bases.

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