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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

Formulations for hair care applications

Surfactants in Skin Care and Make-Up Applications

Surfactants in Skin Care and Make-Up Applications

Surfactants are an essential part of most skin care and make-up products. In skin care applications, they are used as emulsifiers for the production of creams and lotions. In body washes, surfactants act as the cleansing agent to lift the oil based dirt and contaminants from the skin. They are also used as thickeners, gelling agents and film-forming agents in various make-up applications.

Creams and Lotions

Creams and lotions may be used as a medicine delivery system or to smooth, soften, moisturize and perfume the skin. Both types of products are a mix of water and oil based ingredients combined into a homogenous product through the use of emulsifiers. Lotions have a higher percentage of water than creams. They consist of tiny droplets of oil suspended in an aqueous medium. Lotions are more easily absorbed into the skin and tend to be less greasy and light weight. Creams contain a higher percentage of oils than lotions. They are also known as water-in-oil emulsions as they consist of tiny droplets of water suspend in an oil base. Creams are heavier and richer than lotions. They are used to form a barrier which keeps the skin hydrated. The choice of a suitable emulsifier depends on the ratio of water and oil based content. The emulsifier must also have low toxicity, low irritancy and good dispersibility.

Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are widely used as a base for cosmetic creams and lotions. They are petroleum-based compounds also used as softeners, thickeners, solvents, and moisture-carriers in cosmetic applications. PEGs have low toxicity and mild irritancy. They are easily soluble in water and have a broad compatibility with various substances. PEGs are also used as anticaking agents. In cosmetics, PEGs are used as emollients to help soften and lubricate the skin, as emulsifiers and as penetrating vehicles to deliver other active ingredients deeper into the skin.

Surfactants for skin care

Body Washes

The purpose of a body wash is to gently remove dirt, contaminants and odor from the skin. A surfactant is the key component in a body wash. The primary job of the surfactant is to clean the skin by removing lipophilic dirt and natural oils from the skin. Surfactants have a hydrophilic, polar head group and a lipophilic, non-polar tail. The surfactant molecules assemble into micelles which are spherical aggregates in which the hydrophilic head groups are in contact with the polar solvent (water), and the hydrophobic tails extend into the center of the micelle. Dirt and oils are trapped in the core of the micelle while the hydrophilic outer surface keeps the micelle suspended in wash water. The body wash surfactant must also generate fine foam to cover a larger surface area and to deliver a more fulfilling user experience. Body washes are generally formulated to be viscous liquids with a pH in the range of 6 to 7. A suitable surfactant must therefore be able to produce a large amount of foam even under acidic conditions. It should have low irritancy and must not cause excessive degreasing which may lead to skin irritation. A body wash formulation may include more than one surfactant. A secondary surfactant may be added to control skin irritation and reduce discomfort.

Make-up Applications

Some surfactants also act as thickeners, gelling agents and film-forming agents in various cosmetic products. Acting as thickeners or gelling agents, they enhance the consistency, volume, stability and viscosity of the product. They enhance the ability of the product to retain water on the skin and therefore act as moisturizers.

Sanyo offers a range of surfactants for skin care and make-up applications. Browse through the selection of products below or contact us to receive expert advice on choosing the right product.

Sanyo Surfactants for Body Washes

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
  • Produce a large amount of foam
    even under acidic conditions
  • Do not cause excessive degreasing
    of skin
BEAULIGHT SHAASODIUM LAURETH-4
CARBOXYLATE, WATER
  • Easily biodegradable
  • Produces a large amount of foam
    even under acidic conditions
  • Generates refined foam
BEAULIGHT SSSDISODIUM LAURYL
SULFOSUCCINATE, WATER
  • Produces a large amount of foam
    even under acidic conditions
  • Exhibits low irritancy

Compounding ingredients for cosmetics

Product Name
INCI Name
Uses and Features
NEWPOL DDE-10PEG-1 LAURYL GLYCOL
  • Excellent antibacterial and
    antifungal properties
  • Acts as a thickener when mixed
    with surfactants
PEG ProductsPEG
  • Low toxicity and mild irritancy
  • Easily soluble in water
  • Compatible with various substances
  • Used in the cosmetic industry as an
    anticaking agent
  • Suitable for use as a base for creams,
    lotions, hair preparations, etc.

Gelling agents for cosmetics

Product Name
INCI Name
Uses and Features
SALANDUL ST-100MC
SALANDUL ST-100SP
SALANDUL 1000
SODIUM POLYACRYLATE
STARCH, WATER
  • Used as thickeners
  • Good compatibility
  • Light texture

Formulations for skin care and make-up applications

Product Datasheets

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 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...

LEBON 2000HG

Cocoamidopropyl Betaine. LEBON 2000HG by Sanyo Chemical Industries is an easily biodegradable amidopropyl betaine type amphoteric detergent base. It is used as a texture enhancing agent for hair conditioners and a soap-scum dispersant. It exhibits low irritancy to skin & eyes and produces refined ri...

LEBON CIB

Sodium Cocoamphoacetate. LEBON CIB by Sanyo Chemical Industries is an amphoteric surfactant. It exhibits high tolerance to hard water, high thickening and excellent foaming properties. It shows very low-irritation to hair and skin. LEBON CIB produces refined rich foams. Recommended for use in shampo...

SALANJUL ST-100SP

Sodium Polyacrylate Starch. SALANJUL ST-100SP by Sanyo Chemical Industries is an aqueous rheology control agent. This naturally derived base material provides smoothness with no stickiness. It needs simple process for dispersion in water and creates gel easily. SALANJUL ST-100SP finds application in...

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