Surfactants & Solubilizers

Surfactants, or SURFace ACTive ageNTS represent a very large category of ingredients ranging from emulsifiers to solubilizers to detergents and degreasers. At ITDF, our line includes the mildest high performing surfactants, which are natural and plant based. Surfactants are typically categorized by their ionic (an ion is simply an atom which has lost an electron to make it have a charge (positive or negative)) nature, i.e, Anionic (negative charge), Nonionic (no charge), Cationic (positive charge), or Amphoteric (a positive and a negative charge, cationic in acidic environment, anionic in alkaline environment). Anionic surfactants are most often used as cleansing agents in formulations, while Cationics are primarily utilized as conditioning agents because of their attraction to negatively charged skin and hair. Nonionics and Amphoterics are typically used as thickeners, foam boosters, and stabilizers in shampoo and body wash formulations. We offer single surfactants for your mixing and matching needs and surfactant blends for ease of formulation.  It's important that standard lab hygiene measures be utilized at all times when working with any personal care ingredients or bases but with surfactants it's important to be very conscious about exposure to vapor and eye contact.  Avoid breathing in vapors when processing and it's important to keep straight surfactants out of the eyes.  Always wash hands after working but crucial after handling surfactants and solubilizers.

As a general rule you may want to formulate skin care cleansers at a total surfactant load of 15 to 25%, body care cleansers at a total surfactant load of 20 to 35%, and hair care cleansers at a total surfactant load of 30 to 40%.

You may find that you will need to thicken your cleansing systems and the thickener will depend entirely on your chosen
surfactants.  For nonionic surfactants, which do not respond to sodium, you will want to use a polymer:  UltraPureGel is a good choice for these systems and another good way to increase thickness (only with nonionic systems) while also improving foam is by including Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate.  For anionic surfactants you may find sodium* to be the best choice although you could use a polymer here as well:  Irish Moss is a good choice for these systems.  Sometimes you can get away with a small amounts of opposite polarity however this is tricky and it's easiest to stick with matching polarity.  

*When using sodium (table salt) to thicken cleansers it is best to work with your finalized formulation and begin adding the sodium until you get to the thickness desired however, it's important to add your sodium in small increments due to the 'salt curve' which means that the response to sodium will vary based on this curve and on one side of the curve salt will thicken while on the other side of the curve salt will thin.  Take good notes and adjust your calculations to include the sodium for future manufacturing.  In most cases you may also use CocoBetaine (which increases surfactant and foam while adding sodium) when you want to thicken with sodium.  Generally you will start by adding approximately 8% CocoBetaine and add an additional one to two percent until you get to the desired thickness.   
Keep in mind that any amount of oil will jeopardize the foaming activity of natural surfactants much more than with synthetic surfactants and it is best to start with very small amounts and increase in small increments to avoid ending up with a cleansing system that doesn't perform.  Anytime you are including oil in your cleansing system you may find it helpful to include EasyFoam or CocoFoam because these are strong foamers.

The HLB value determines the behavior, and capability of the surfactant / emulsifier:


FUNCTION HLB VALUE / RANGE                     

>10    Lipid Soluble
<10    Water Soluble
Antifoaming agent 1 to 8
Wetting agent 7 to 9
Emulsifier, water-in-oil 7 to 11
Emulsifier, oil-in-water 12 to 16
Detergent 13 to 15
Solubilizer 16 to 20

Surfactants & Solubilizers Wholesale Products
INCI: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
$3.12  -  $ 391.24
INCI: Coco Glucoside
$2.61  -  $ 1349.74
INCI: Cocamidopropyl Betaine
$2.61  -  $ 662.32
INCI: Potassium Cocoate
$2.47  -  $ 789.79
INCI: Decyl Glucoside
$2.61  -  $ 1349.74
INCI: Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate
$3.00  -  $ 269.50
Foaming Soy
INCI:Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
$3.07  -  $ 300.79
INCI: Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate
$2.61  -  $ 1713.26
INCI: Propanediol
EcoCert, NPA
$3.95  -  $ 1584.07
INCI: Decyl Glucoside (and) Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate
$2.61  -  $ 1700.29
INCI: Polysorbate 80
$3.08  -  $ 130.82
INCI: Coco Glucoside, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate
$3.58  -  $ 1005.62
INCI: Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate
$4.46  -  $ 465.15

INCI: Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
EcoCert, Kosher

$3.13  -  $ 416.50
INCI: Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
$3.65  -  $ 253.83
Super Mild Surfactant Blend™
INCI: Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (and) Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
$5.20  -  $ 150.96
INCI: Cetearyl Glucoside
EcoCert Compliant
$5.42  -  $ 1233.97

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