Surfactants are one of the most versatile ingredients used in hair and skincare products. They perform an important function in reducing the surface tension of water allowing all kinds of wonderful products to be made. Most of us think big foam and bubbles when we hear the word “surfactant” but the definition is much more. The word surfactant is actually a shortened way of saying “surface active agent”. The definition of surfactant is – compounds that lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants.
Decyl Glucoside is a natural sugar-derived non-ionic surfactant. Non-ionic surfactants are great for solubilizing oils and fragrances and generally have low foam, although Decyl Glucoside does well in comparison to other non-ionic surfactants. They are also considered to be more gentle and therefore are used in formulating gentle cleansing solutions like baby washes and kids shampoo.
Its mild, gentle cleansing activity is ideal for a wide variety of shampoos, body washes, facial cleansers, bubble baths and more! It can be used as a primary surfactant or in combination with other surfactants. Even though it has great foam and cleansing action, it’s very mild and gentle on skin. This is one of the main reasons to choose Decyl Glucoside and it is also used as a thickening agent. However, to avoid its thickening properties salt can be added.
The appearance of Decyl Glucoside is a viscous, slightly yellow, turbid liquid. In a solution of 10% water, the pH is 11.5 – 12.5. It is tolerant of high electrolyte formulations and compatible with cationic conditioning agents. General usage rates are 2%-10%. The target pH for the finished product is 3.0 – 5.0 for best results.