Four Most Commonly Used Surfactants You Should Know

Surfactants are substances used to reduce the surface tension of target solutions. It has fixed hydrophilic and lipophilic groups and can be aligned on the solution surface. The molecular structure of surfactants is amphoteric, with a hydrophilic end group and a hydrophobic end group. The hydrophilic group is polar and usually consists of carboxylic acid, sulfonic acid, sulfuric acid, amino or amine groups, and its salt. In contrast, the hydrophobic group is often referred to as a non-polar hydrocarbon chain, such as a hydrocarbon chain with greater than 8 carbon atoms. Surfactants can be further categorized as ionic surfactants (cationic surfactants and anionic surfactants), non-ionic surfactants, amphoteric surfactants, and others.

Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate

Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate is a cleansing ingredient widely used to enhance the cleansing performance of skincare products.

Technical Indicators

Chemical structural formula: ROCO-CH2-CH(SO3Na)-COONa

Appearance (25): pure white fine paste

Content (%): 48.0–50.0

Na2SO3 (%): ≤ 0.50

pH (1% aqueous solution): 5.5–7.0

Features

l White and fine paste at room temperature and becomes transparent liquid upon heating (>70°C)

l Rich and dense foam without a greasy feeling and easy to rinse

l Strong detergency and low degreasing performance; a common mild surfactant

l Compatible with other surfactants and can reduce the irritation of other surfactants

l Hard water resistance, good biodegradability, and high-cost performance

Usage

Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate can be used to prepare hand balm (liquid), foam cleanser, and shaving foam of high viscosity and cleansing performance. It can also be formulated with non-slippery shower foam, etc.

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is a top-performing surfactant that advances various formulations.

Technical Indicators

Chemical structural formula: RO(CH2CH2O)3COCH2CH(SO3Na)COONa

Appearance (25°C): colorless to light yellow viscous liquid

Active substance (%): 30.0±2.0

pH (1%): 5.5–6.5

Na2SO3 (%): ≤ 0.3

Foam (mm): ≤ 150

Features

l Excellent washing, emulsifying, dispersing, wetting, and solubilizing properties

l Low irritation and can significantly reduce the irritation of other surfactants

l Rich, dense and stable foams

l Excellent calcium soap dispersing power and resistance to hard water

l Compatible with various surfactants and plant extracts to form stable systems for natural products

l Low degreasing performance, moderate detergency, easy to rinse, and no greasy feeling

Usage

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate can be used to manufacture shampoo, bath foam, shower gel, hand sanitizer, surgical cleanser, and other cosmetic products and act as an emulsifier, dispersant, wetting agent, and foaming agent.

Disodium Cocoyl Monoethanolamide Sulfosuccinate

Disodium Cocoyl Monoethanolamide Sulfosuccinate has excellent calcium soap dispersing power.

Technical Indicators

Structural formula: RCONHCH2CH2OCOCHCH(SO3Na)COONa

Appearance (25°C): slightly yellow transparent liquid

Active substance (%): ≥ 30.0 ​​

pH (%): 5.5–7.0

Features

l Excellent washing, emulsifying, dispersing, wetting, and solubilizing properties

l Low irritation and can significantly reduce the irritation of other surfactants

l Rich, dense, and stable foam; better foam stabilization performance than disodium sulfosuccinate monoester surfactants

l Excellent calcium soap dispersing power and hard water resistance

l Low degreasing performance, moderate detergency, easy to rinse, and no greasy feeling

Usage

Disodium Cocoyl Monoethanolamide Sulfosuccinate can be utilized to manufacture shampoo, bath foam, shower gel, hand soap, surgical cleanser, and other cosmetic products as an emulsifier, dispersant agent, wetting agent, and foaming agent for the coating, leather, paper, ink, textile, and other industries.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a chemical compound generally used in personal care and household cleaning products.

Technical Indicators

Chemical structure: RCONH(CH2)3N+(CH3)2CH2COO4

Appearance (25°C): slightly yellow transparent liquid

Active substance (%): 30±1

Free amine content (%): ≤ 0.10

Solid content (%): ≥35.0

Features

l Excellent solubility and compatibility

l Excellent foaming and significant thickening ability

l Low irritation and bactericidal properties; can enhance the softness of washing products

l Stable at low-temperature

l Good antistatic agent and biodegradable

Usage

Cocamidopropyl betaine is extensively used in the formulation of household detergents as the major ingredient in preparing mild baby shampoos, baby bath foams, and baby skincare products. It is an excellent softening and conditioning agent in hair and skin care formulations.

Summary

Surfactants have widespread applications in various sectors. Due to its constant innovation and continuous efforts, Alfa Chemistry now provides a full range of affordable, high-quality, and reproducible surfactants to numerous organizations globally. At Alfa Chemistry, customers can easily access a broad range of amphoteric surfactants, anionic surfactants, cationic surfactants, and non-ionic surfactants.

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