Can surfactants used in personal care formulation be sustainable, deep cleansing and moisturizing?
As I was formulating different categories for my skincare line, the era of sulfate free, oil based face cleansers was just starting, and I was finding it challenging to come up with a face wash/cleanser formula that would meet all my standards. I have always been very picky with my own face washes in the past, so even though face wash is a staple for a skincare line, it took me over four years of research and development (farmers markets, customer feedback) to be happy with my own formula.
Matcha Camu Camu Face Wash is different from other formulas in many different aspects, as it is free of artificial scent, color, and is formulated with 85%, straight out of grocery store, edible ingredients and most importantly the surfactant used in this formula is made from scratch, in a one step process, by saponifying the unrefined oils of coconut, castor and olive. There is absolutely no waste created in this process as the byproducts of saponified oils are glycerine and all the vitamins and antioxidants that are present in the original unrefined oil.
Most natural skincare companies use decyl glucoside or cetearly olivate as their main surfactant. Decyl glucoside is a plant derived gentle cleanser. It is is produced by a two step reaction (esterification and hydrogenolyis) starting with glucose from corn starch that is combined with the fatty alcohol capric alcohol, which is obtained from coconut and/or palm oil. Even though the process mostly uses plant derived starting materials, every step creates waste and different types of solvents have to be used in each process.
At CT Organics, the surfactant mixture used in our Matcha Camu Camu Face Wash is produced in a one step process by adding potassium hydroxide solution to unrefined plant based oils such as olive, castor and coconut oil. The resulting mixture is rich in many saponified fatty acids including potassium olivate, potassium myristate, potassium ricinoleiate, potassium laurate, glycerine and most of the vitamins that each oil contained in its unrefined form.
This surfactant mixture is then diluted and used as a base for a cleansing wash. Not only is this mixture very cleansing, moisturizing, treats acne & blemishes, but it is also good for shaving. So it is clear that a main benefit of making a liquid soap formula from scratch, is that this process is truly sustainable, unlike the more industrialized methods described above. In closing, if you think about the journey an ingredient takes to become part of a formula; decyl glucoside is processed and isolated to do half the job of a saponified unrefined oil, so why not make the surfactant from scratch with minimum processing?
At CT Organics we believe that in manufacturing natural, organic skin care products, deep knowledge of the process chemistry with a view to eliminating wastes is the most viable means of achieving a sustainable healthy environment and at the same time providing our customers with premium skin care products that are often multi-faceted. Case in point, our Matcha Camu Camu Face Wash!