New surfactant developments

Published: 3-Feb-2015

John Woodruff examines novel surfactants and how they can be used to create superior bathroom products

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Bath time frequently involves bubbles. This article will focus on the surfactants that create them, the effect that they have on skin and ways of improving the product.

Harsh surfactants such as alkyl carboxylates (soaps) tend to cause swelling and hyper-hydration of the stratum corneum (SC), which can enhance penetration of cleanser ingredients into deeper layers leading to deleterious biochemical responses. To avoid the use of soaps the majority of shower gels and body washes are based on surfactants, and in November 2014 the author of this feature looked at the INCI lists of more than sixty shower gels, selected because they had significant sales in China, Australia, North America and Europe. Despite the numerous surfactants available, 52 contained sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) and 55 contained cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB).

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