Mild vs Harsh Surfactants

I get confused how a surfactant can be mild but harsh on the skin at the same time. I have played with various surfactants for personal use and I aim to make them mild. What does mild mean and what's harsh?

I have used mild surfactants and have computed the ASM. However, I get reactions like it's too drying and skin peeling. For instance, I read that Coco Glucoside is a mild surfactant, but it can be harsh on the skin as non-ionics are good degreasers. CMEA thickens surfactants and reduces the irritation level of anionics but is also a penetration enhancer and disrupts the integrity of the skin. When I make formulations with CMEA, my skin peels a lot. Below is my base formula that I use for shampoos and body wash. Is there anything on the ingredients that could be causing skin peeling? Thanks!

ASM - 12

SLES 70% - 10%
CAPB 30% - 10%
CMEA - 2%
Glycerine - 2%
EDTA 10% - 1%
Polyquat 7 - 2%
Fragrance - 1%
EHGP - 1%
Water q.s.

Comments

  • 1. EDTA should be 0.1%, not 1%
    2. check your pH. High EDTA can make it too alkaline.
    3. Try lowering or removing glycerin and PQ-7 to see if it gets less sticky.
    4. Try it without the fragrance first.
    5. What is EHGP?
    6. Active SLES should be 8%+ so that it can be properly thickened with salt.
  • DASDAS Member
    @Gunther it's a 10% solution.

    Perhaps you will get better results with 1% CMEA. But still skin peeling shouldn't happen. Try this.
  • markj187markj187 Member
    edited July 2018
    @Gunther

    1. EDTA should be 0.1%, not 1% - It's a 10%  solution
    2. check your pH. High EDTA can make it too alkaline. - pH is 5
    3. Try lowering or removing glycerin and PQ-7 to see if it gets less sticky. - I don't have issues with stickiness
    4. Try it without the fragrance first. - Okay
    5. What is EHGP? - Ethylhexylglycerin + Phenoxyethanol (Euxyl PE 9010)
    6. Active SLES should be 8%+ so that it can be properly thickened with salt. - Thickening is not a problem. The final outcome is very viscous.

    My problem is that the base formula above looks mild on paper but is the opposite in reality. It dries the skin and causes skin peeling.

    @DAS
    Thanks! Will try it out.


  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    I don't think it's the formula. It's you. Try it on other people.
    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.
  • The formula is not supposed to cause any peel off.
    So there are only 2 logical options

    A. An ingredient was mismanufactured, or mislabeled.
    B. You're allergic or having an adverse reaction to an ingredient.

    Besides knock-off tests, you can try solo tests, where you try every single ingredient separately, dissolved in water in the same percentage as in the formula.
  • em88em88 Member
    "When I make formulations with CMEA, my skin peels a lot. "
    Stop using it! Try the shampoo without CMEA. 
  • @Belassi - My wife gets dry patches on her skin too

    @Gunther
    @em88
     
    Knocked-off CMEA. It's better now and doesn't cause skin peeling or dry patches. Thanks!

    I thought CMEA helps lessen irritation by anionics. I prefer using SLES or Sodium Coco Sulfate instead of other anionics. I have tried SMC Taurate and Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate but didn't like their performance.
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