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Looking for sustainable alternatives in Thickeners?
Lauryl Lactate – effective and easy to formulate


*Corresponding author
Puig dels Tudons 10, 08210 Barberà del Vallès, Spain.


Today’s personal care market shows an increasing trend towards sustainable and natural-based concepts. Aware of this market trend, KAO Chemicals Europe has developed a sustainable thickener, Lauryl Lactate(*) for use in cleansing products. Lauryl Lactate is a product obtained by the esterification of sustainable raw materials, lactic acid (from vegetal sources) and fatty alcohol. It is a 100% active, colourless, clear liquid, easy to incorporate at room temperature.
It is a very efficient thickener, even for the new generation of surfactants (amino acid derivatives and extra- mild anionics). It has a better viscosity performance than Cocamide DEA and a minimal effect on foaming. Additionally, it provides superior temperature-stable viscosities and a shear-thinning rheology, which leads to very high viscosities under storage conditions and helps to stabilize suspended particles.


Over the past few years sustainability, carbon footprint and an eco-friendly concept have been the major focus in the consumer products area. These requirements lead producers of personal care products to look for raw materials from renewable natural sources that are friendly to the skin and the environment without compromising their functionality.
One example of sustainable and eco-friendly materials are lactic acid esters. They are already widely used in the cosmetics industry as emollients. These esters, although practically insoluble in water, can be easily solubilized in surfactant-water systems to obtain clear and stable solutions even at temperatures of less than 0ºC. With lactic acid esters, the viscosity of these aqueous surfactant compositions can be easily increased and therefore the presence of electrolytes can be reduced. These compositions show an equivalent foaming capacity with respect to the corresponding composition obtained without the lactic acid ester, and they are milder on the skin and the mucous membranes.
The authors of this paper have studied the effect of different alkyl chains from C8 to C22, of ...