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Naturally Derived Low Dioxane Solutions for Cleansing Products
By: Timothy Roach and David Kreckman, Lubrizol Advanced Materials Inc
Posted: October 8, 2013
The demand for personal care products made with natural, renewable materials shows no sign of abating. Lubrizol is responding by launching two new products: a naturally derived thickener, Glucamate™ CCO Thickener, a product that builds viscosity without ethoxylation while offering broad ingredient compatibility; and a new high-solids surfactant, Sulfochem™ ES-70DXS Surfactant, that pushes 1,4 dioxane levels closer to single digits and is extremely easy to handle. What’s more, the cleansing products they enable still deliver the sensory and safety properties that consumers expect.
Q: How strong is this demand for products made from natural, renewable materials?
A: In personal care formulations, there has definitely been an increase in consumer awareness about certain types of ingredients as well as the byproducts of those ingredients. Five years ago, the typical end consumer would have walked into a store, selected a brand, glanced at the front label and made the purchase. Today, there are a growing number of consumers that turn the bottle around to read what is on the back.
Q: How does Lubrizol gather market data?
A: In all of our new product development efforts, we get out into the market to fully understand what our customers are looking for—and at the same time understand what the end consumers desires. We supplement this with more secondary market research, but we ultimately develop our new technologies based on those two pieces of data. The industry must keep in mind that we are all consumers. With personal care products, we can tap our personal experiences to supplement what we are hearing from the outside. I [Tim] talk to my wife about her product choices. She is a very conscientious consumer—into natural and organic-type products, with strong ethical concerns about the way she selects products. She is another very good data point for me.
Q: What is Glucamate CCO thickener and why are we talking about it?
A: Lubrizol has a number of Glucamate™ thickeners derived from corn. Many consider Lubrizol’s Glucamate™ DOE-120 thickener a leading technology in the market. But we heard from our customers, “We’d also love to have a product that behaves like Glucamate DOE 120 thickener, but isn’t ethoxylated.” And that was the driver to develop Glucamate CCO Thickener (INCI: Methyl Glucose Caprate/Caprylate/Oleate (and) Propanediol.) With Glucamate CCO Thickener, formulators now have the option to develop cleansing systems that have a high degree of naturally derived content, are ethoxylate free and are still gentle on the skin.
Q: Can formulators still achieve a performance/cost balance?
A: The economy is growing again, but it is certainly not back to pre-recession levels around the globe. Formulators want to achieve desired viscosity, but in an economical way. This can be accomplished by obtaining the right balance of thickener, sodium chloride and betaine. So we developed this technology specifically for a wide array of different surfactant types, allowing the material to be versatile and to be used in many different formulations depending on what the formulators direction. (See Figure 1) Also, there are no preservatives or antioxidants added, giving customers still more flexibility with their formulating.
Q: And, another solution is to formulate with Sulfochem ES-70DXS surfactant?
A: Yes, Sulfochem ES-70DXS Surfactant (INCI: Sodium Laureth-2 Sulfate) is the first in a series of naturally derived, high-solids, low 1,4 dioxane surfactants. The “DXS” stands for “dioxane stripped” (removed). The 70 refers 70% concentration. Additionally, unlike other high active surfactants, this surfactant is easy to pour, has low color and odor and contains less than 10 ppm residual 1,4 dioxane.
Q: What was the driver for developing Sulfochem ES-70DXS surfactant?
A: Lubrizol has a reputation in the industry for delivering extremely high quality, low color and low odor surfactants that are about 30% active. Our customers asked: “Can we get your surfactants at a high-active level?” We were pleased to fulfill a customer need. Processed using a proprietary CSA (chlorosulfonic acid) sulfation technology, Sulfochem ES-70DXS Surfactant establishes Lubrizol as a leading supplier of high-active, low dioxane, low color and odor anionic surfactants. Another reason we moved in the high-active direction was to support our customers’ sustainability initiatives. A highly concentrated, highly flowable product such as this is able to streamline processing, and reduce freight and storage costs.
Q: How do you deliver on the need to minimize 1,4 dioxane?
A: Generally, our customers try to formulate personal care products with less than 10 ppm of dioxane in a finished formula. With the surfactant being the largest component in a cleansing product, we wanted to do whatever we could to minimize the residual dioxane in that surfactant to help our customers meet regulatory and consumer expectations for product safety. Lubrizol employs a process that uses a chlorosulfonic acid steam-stripping technology to accomplish this goal of producing high-active, flowable, low dioxane anionics.
Q: Any closing thoughts?
A: Glucamate CCO thickener is ideal for developing formulations with high renewable carbon content. Lubrizol makes it a priority to minimize its carbon footprint and produce products responsibly. These two new products are for the environmentally conscious consumer and for companies that want to meet their needs. Our purpose is to deliver claims-driving ingredients for our customers to formulate products that will fulfill consumer desires. This does not mean that Lubrizol makes only natural products, but it does mean that Lubrizol strives to minimize the environmental impact of our actions and is ready to help our customers formulate with confidence™.
Q: What should someone do if interested?
A: For product details, more information, samples and starting formulations visit www.lubrizol.com/glucamateCCO or www.lubrizol.com/PersonalCare/Products/Surfactants/SulfochemES-70DXS.html; like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LubrizolPersonalCareTrends; or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/LZPersonalCare.
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