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- 10/20/2020

STEPANQUAT® Soleil, a flower-powered cationic conditioning agent

H&PC Today


STEPANQUAT® Soleil is a novel hair conditioning quat that offers a better story for the consumer, the formulator and the environment.
STEPANQUAT Soleil (INCI: Dioleoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate (and) Sunflower Seed Oil Glycerides), does not contain any solvent nor preservative, and comprises 100% total cationic and emollient actives. Its high performance is similar to behentrimonium chloride. It possesses great substantivity while being easily removed during the next shampoo: no build up!
Formulators will be happy to work with this 100% actives conditioning cationic that is a liquid, making it easier, quicker and safer to use. They can explore all kinds of textures and product forms.
STEPANQUAT Soleil is better for the environment as it is directly derived from sunflower oil, is silicone and GMO-free, while being readily biodegradable.
Explore, Enjoy, Be creative!

Stepan has decades of experience in esterquat (EQ) chemistry, notably for fabric softeners. EQs are known to be readily biodegradable, mild and less toxic to aquatic life. Stepan believed in their value today for the hair conditioning market, provided that they’d match BTAC’s performance. While performance is key for the consumers, they have also been on the lookout for more sustainable products. A majority identify themselves as green/clean/conscious beauty buyers and are sensitive to “natural,” “environmentally friendly,” “locally sourced” claims and the absence of GMOs1.
Stepan decided to go greener by using sunflower oil instead of a palm-derived fatty acid. From a theoretical standpoint, using sunflower oil is supposed to be more optimal for hair than palm as its carbon chain includes high amounts of unsaturated oleic acid (C18:1). This is believed to assist in coating and lubricating the hair for ease of combing.
STEPANQUAT® Soleil meets the consumers’ expectations while delivering best-in-class performance. To assess the technical performance of STEPANQUAT Soleil, a variety of tests were performed. Electronic microscope pictures of a damaged hair fiber were taken before and after treatment with 2% active cationic. STEPANQUAT Soleil provided visible and high-quality fiber coating, showing a very smooth appearance of the hair, while BTAC and CTAC provided a more heterogeneous result. The detangling performance was assessed with a Dia-Stron equipment and STEPANQUAT Soleil showed equivalent results to BTAC at 2% actives, a typical use level. It also outperformed other standard EQs and CTAC. Lastly, STEPANQUAT Soleil showed a high substantivity, staying on the hair after the use and rinsing of the conditioner but being eliminated at the next shampoo, preventing build-up.
Being free from silicones, glycols, preservatives and drying alcohols, it writes a better story for the consumer.

STEPANQUAT Soleil writes a better story for the formulator as it is:
• China IECIC listed
• A 100% actives liquid
• Workable at at 65°C (instead of 80°C) for making a conditioner, allowing for quicker processes, which is helpful with short development times.
• Not restricted in Europe for any use level
• Adapted for multiple formats or for other applications beyond hair care

STEPANQUAT Soleil is also a better story for the environment thanks to its ready biodegradability and sunflower oil feedstock.

1Euromonitor, The Evolution of Beauty: from Green to Clean Conscious, November 2019

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