Tea Tree Oil in ALS formula

Hi there! I've read a couple of threads here about TTO in ALS cleansers, but i have yet to find an answer to my question; 

i am formulating a body wash which needs to contain ideally 1% TTO to make anti bacterial claims. unfortunately, once i put the TTO in, the viscosity drops out massively! What is the scientific reasoning behind this? Is there a way to get the TTO not to affect the viscosity? 

it is an ALS, DEA and Decyl Glucoside based formula! 

TTO is the bane of my life!!


  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Ah well. I use that combination more or less, except mine is Plantarem APB which also includes ALeS and doesn't use DEA but instead high-purity DEAL. I do work with TTO and I have been experimenting with it in shampoo between 0.05% and 1%.

    First let me say that the following applies to the blend you're using in that it's an anionic shampoo.

    I guess you're salt thickening since you don't mention CAPB. With that blend, let me say that I think you'll find that using CAPB as a thickener will give you a much superior shampoo, you won't need more than 5% probably, and CAPB is very very cheap and easy to get.

    You don't mention if you are trying for a clear or are going with pearl. Anyway, in my experience getting a clear with anything more than 0.07% of TTO is not really possible. Even at 0.1% you get translucent.

    1. Be careful with TTO concentration in shampoo type products incl body wash. I had reports of dermatitis type reaction (scaly patches) on my tests at 1% TTO. It is pretty strong stuff. Have you studied the data on the Min E Dose to kill a population in 24h? It is tiny, a lot less than 1%.

    2. TTO is expensive and body washes are an extremely price-competitive market. Plug 1% in to your retail price formula and see the result.

    Well if I haven't put you off yet, I use it in our frequent use 2-in-1 shampoo but only at a level of 0.07% and even at that level it should have an effect on scalp health, in that it's a potent antifungal as well as antibacterial. I would suggest using 0.1% and going for a pearled formula.

    Regarding the viscosity problem, yes, it is a really difficult one to work with, but you will find that at 0.1% it is quite manageable, just adjust the test batch with CAPB until you get the right viscosity. I suggest waiting 24h then readjusting as necessary as it seems to drift a little.

    The alternative is to go sulphate free but then your price is out the window straight away.

    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    I hope you're not trying to make anti-bacterial claims in the US. An anti-bacterial claim in the US makes your product into an OTC drug. What's worse, the new FDA regulations mean that all but the most deep-pocketed companies will be out of the anti-bacterial business in August.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • @belassi thanks for that! Yeah when i mean Decyl Glucoside, i actually meant CAPB! haha..

    @bobzchemist nah I am located in australia! 
Sign In or Register to comment.