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surfactants in detail IV


Emulsifiers are another important aspect of surfactant use. There are 200 to 300 kinds of emulsifiers available for cosmetics, with a wide variety and different performance.

Chemical NameTrade Name CharacteristicMain Features
Sodium stearate _White solid powderIt has good emulsification performance and generates O/W type emulsion with low price. But strong alkaline, high water quality requirements
Triethanolamine stearate _Creamy waxy solidIt is an excellent emulsifier for O/W type emulsions with low PH value. But long storage has the tendency to make the product yellow
Calcium Stearate _ _W/O type emulsifier, but emulsification efficiency is not high
Dodecyl phosphate potassium saltPKPL-1White, transparent and sticky liquidEmulsification, softness and anti-static properties
Dodecyl polyoxyethylene ether phosphate monoethanolamineAPEACarboxylate-type imidazolineCan be used as an emulsifier for creams. Very low irritation to skin, suitable for children’s skin care products
Polyoxyethylene stearateSE EmulsifierLight yellow creamPoor detergency, foaming power and wetting performance, poor stability, but low cost, less foam and better biodegradability
Polyoxyethylene laurateS-307 _ 
Binary (ternary) alcohol esters _ _Mostly oil-soluble W/O emulsification
Fatty acid monoglycerides _ _Good emulsification ability and safety, often used as W/O emulsifier can become self-emulsifier after adding metal fatty acid salt
Sorbitol monolaurate dehydrateFutures -20Amber or brown-orange oily liquidUsed as an emulsifier itself is insoluble in water, rarely used alone. Often used in combination with Tween series
Sorbitan monopalmitate dehydrateSpan-40Yellowish brown waxy substance 
Sorbitol monostearate dehydrateSpan-60Yellowish brown waxy solids 
Sorbitan monooleate dehydrateSpan-80Amber colored viscous oily liquid  
Polyoxyethylene dehydrated sorbitan monolaurateTween-20Amber colored oily liquidGood water solubility and dispersibility, often used in combination with Span
Polyoxyethylene dehydrated sorbitol monopalmitateTween-40Amber colored oily liquid 
Polyoxyethylene anhydrous sorbitol monostearateTween-60Amber colored oily liquid 
Polyoxyethylene dehydrated sorbitan monooleateTween-80Amber colored oily liquid 
Methyl glucoside stearateMSYellow soft solidIt has good safety, solubility, moisturizing and emulsifying properties, thickening ability and low cost of biodegradability
Common emulsifiers

Conditioning agents

The main effect is antistatic, making hair easy to comb, soft and shiny. Conditioning agents are mainly cationic surfactants.


Difficult to dissolve in water grease, spices, drugs (such as oil-soluble vitamin A), etc., can be dispersed in water by emulsifiers into very small particles and a transparent solution. Emulsifier with this performance, can be called solubilizer. Polyoxyethylene sorbitol fatty acid ester (Tween) series and polyoxyethylene fatty alcohol ether (Brij) series and other emulsifiers are more soluble. Its dosage generally depends on the nature of the dispersed phase, content, but also by mutual solvents (such as alcohol). Mainly used in the production of make-up, hair growth and hair care agent. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Foam stabilizer

Foam stabilizers are surfactants that have the effect of prolonging and stabilizing foam and maintaining its long-lasting performance. Effective foam stabilizers in the detergent and cosmetic industries are fatty alcohol amides.

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