Surfactants in my Facial Cleansers?!

Do not be surprised. We can find surfactants almost everywhere from detergents to food products. The word “surfactant” is a contraction of the three words “Surface Active Agents.” What is a surfactant? Surfactants are materials that lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid. In the general sense, any material that affects the interfacial surface tension, can be considered a surfactant, but in the practical sense, surfactants may act as wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants (Hirsch, 2015). To simplify it in the sense of skin care, surfactants can mix oil and water together so that it can be washed away together with water. Surfactants are also differentiated into ionic such as Sodium lauryl ether sulfate and non-ionic such as cocamidopropyl Betaine.

  • Surfactants which can be seen as the lollipop-like molecule. The head represents a water-loving part of the molecule (hydrophilic) and the tail represents a water-hating part of the molecule (hydrophobic).

  • The hydrophobic tail will group up onto oil and dirt on a surface and eventually captures them into a bubble like formation where the tails do not come into contact with water.

  • Eventually the dirt is suspended and can be rinsed away with water.

Figure 1 : How surfactants remove and washes away oil and dirt

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HALEA Brightening Cleansers uses a variety of surfactant such as coco glucoside, cocoamidopropyl betaine, sodium Cocoamphoacetate and decyl glucoside, which are natural non-ionic surfactants derived from coconut. It is fully organic and fully biodegradable which makes the environmentally friendly. Non-ionic surfactants do not carry a charge on its hydrophilic head group and is therefore milder in nature. Due to the mildness of the nonionic surfactants listed in our product, it is softer to the skin while still being able to purify excess oil and other impurities from the skin surface.

Non-ionic surfactants were chosen as it is compatible with all skin types and its ability to foam up very nicely giving users the feeling of satisfaction while cleansing. With the correct combination and formulation of these non-ionic surfactants, it can bring out the most of their ability to cleanse your skin at the same time protecting the skin by not stripping away the natural oil barrier that protects the skin from over-drying and irritation.

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