Surfactant interactions Anionic/Amphoteric


Nascent Technologies Corporation, Lawrenceville Ga, USA


The formulation of personal care products is based in large part on the interaction that occurs when combining the raw materials. In other words, the formulation is more than the sum of the properties of each of the raw materials. Many of even the most simple interactions are not predictable. There are a number of interactions which include formation of self-assembling complexes. These complexes can either enhance or detract from the functional attributes of the formulation. Since most of today’s high performance formulations are very complex containing a plethora of ingredients, it is difficult to predict the effect of changes in those formulations. In an attempt to understand these interactions we have gone back to simple systems. The results of these interactions can then be used to help formulate more effective products.


Surfactants are one of the most commonly used class of raw materials used in formulation of personal care products. Recently, there have been polymeric surfactants that provide additional functional attributes not found in the non-polymeric versions. Use of these materials have an impact upon film formation, coacervate improvement and emulsions with increased stability and outstanding feel.


Surfactants can be divided into groups depending upon the charge on the organic portion of the molecule (1). According to such a scheme surfactants are classified as:


Table 1. Surfactants Classified by Charge.

While charge type is one common way to classify surfactants, how surfactants interac ... ... ...