Why is SLS the right surfactant for Personal Care Formulations?
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is used mainly in lower concentrations in detergents, oral and personal care formulations such as shaving foams, gels, shampoos, toothpaste where building viscosity and foam characteristics are more important. Low salt content makes this surfactant extremely useful in formulations that are sensitive to high levels of sodium chloride. It is easily available in powder, needles and colour needles form.
How it is derived
Disregard stories that it is a natural compound derived from coconut. Naturally derived LAS (SLS) is dioxane and petrochemicals free. Besides, it is also available as synthetically derived SLS from petrochemicals. Being an aggressive surfactant, it helps lather, cleanses better than water from any surface you think of trying out. There is a vast ‘carbon’ chain from C10 to C18. SLS is manufactured either by sulphating chlorosulphoric acid with alcohol in a batch process or by sulphating alcohol with gaseous SO3 in continuous falling film reactor.
C12-18 is meant for use in personal and oral care whereas C12-14 is used for detergents and shampoos. Being 100 percent biodegradable, it is absolutely safe for the environment. It is derived from a naturally occurring lauryl alcohol or palm kernel oil. Molecules with Lipophilic (water-hating) part consisting of alcohol and hydrophilic (water-loving) part are made up of Sulphate groups. These give excellent water solubility, good detergency, fast wetting, high foaming, emulsifying and thickening purely in the presence of electrolytes such as NaCl, MgSo4.
These proportions are used for shampoos, liquid soaps, toothpaste, handwash, bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner and laundry detergents. It should be used above pH3 to prevent hydrolysis. So it is better to use with alkene amides, coco amido propyl betaine. It results in formulation with low interfacial tension, greater foaming, and better thickening. Stability to H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) and sodium hypochlorite make it applicable for toilet cleaner and undoubtedly the best choice for glass cleaners.
It is an excellent choice for pearled shampoo formulation and creams meant for skin use. Besides, it is used in the polymerization of PVC acrylic resin, acrylates, and styrene butadiene. It is available in various forms like 28% liquid, 68% paste, powder, granules, needles of different colours and diameters.
Fogla Corp offers a host of choices to customers looking for different forms of it. In powder form, it has 94 percent active matter, looks white or off-white in appearance and carries inorganic salts of 2 percent only. It has a negligible moisture level of 2 percent. It is available in 25 kg net PP woven sacks meant for industrial use. In needle form, it has a minimum active matter of 90 percent, maximum moisture of 5 percent and just 2 percent inorganic salts. It is available in 20 kg paper craft bag. Needles are also available in different colours like blue, green, orange, red, and pink in 20 kg paper craft bag. Fogla Corp is a leading manufacturer and supplier of SLS in India and abroad.
Safe to Use
It functions as a surfactant and contributes foaming properties to cleaning products. It is fit for personal use items. SLS is safe for use in cleaning products. It is safe under proper conditions of use. There is no direct evidence of carcinogenic risk. However, workplace exposures to SLS are expected to be much higher than in the consumer setting due to either the higher use concentrations or on account of the longer duration of use that occurs at the workplace. Whatever the use, it is considered the best alternative growing in importance worldwide these days.