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The cleansing effect is achieved through the action of surfactants (abbreviated as surfactants), which bind and wash out particles of sebum and dirt from the head.

Surfactants are present in any cleansing cosmetics: shower gel, facial wash and liquid soap.

Harm of surfactants for humans

In order for a cosmetic product to really cleanse, it must contain at least 10% surfactant, and preferably 12-14. Given such a large volume, it is important that these components do not damage the skin.

Many mass-market cosmetics manufacturers use cheap and not entirely safe surfactants in their products. They are obtained from petroleum products, they are so strong that they can be washed without problems, for example, engine oil from engines. These surfactants penetrate into the intercellular spaces of the skin and destroy its protective barrier. If they are poorly washed off, then the negative impact is enhanced. That is why manufacturers write that the product must be thoroughly washed off with plenty of water.

SLS is the most aggressive surfactant

The most aggressive surfactant is sodium lauryl sulfate, which is designated Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) on packages. This substance creates abundant foam, but at the same time penetrates deep into the skin, severely damaging the protective layer. It can cause allergies in many people.

SLS in the shampoo weakens the hair, provokes their loss. In addition, SLS cannot be washed off completely, it can accumulate in the body and have a long-term effect. The second popular surfactant - sodium laureth sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - is safer for humans, but much more harmful to the environment.

To reduce the harm from such components, special emollients are added to cosmetics, such as Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate or Sodium Cocoamphoacetate. They are obtained from coconut oil and vegetable amino acids.

Soft surfactants

Natural surfactants that are used in organic shampoos do not dry the hair and scalp, do not cause irritation, they are easily washed off. In such shampoos you can find: glycosides from coconut or palm oils, potato, rice or wheat glucose (Lauryl Glucoside, Decyl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside). The soap root already familiar to us also cleanses the hair due to the content of glycosides (Saponaria officinalis) in it. A plant called kumerau (Pomaderris kumerahou) also lathers.

Unfortunately, finding a sulfate-free shampoo is not an easy task.

Sulfates are present in almost all products that are advertised. Therefore, once again, I want to remind you that you need to carefully study the composition. You may have to spend a little more time searching for the right product, but healthy, shiny and manageable hair is worth it!


Things to know (Q&A)

What does a surfactant do?

What is a Surfactant? Surfactants are a primary component of cleaning detergents. The word surfactant means surface active agent. As the name implies, surfactants stir up activity on the surface you are cleaning to help trap dirt and remove it from the surface

What are surfactants simple definition?

surfactant, also called surface-active agent, substance such as a detergent that, when added to a liquid, reduces its surface tension, thereby increasing its spreading and wetting properties .

What are some examples of a surfactant?

Sodium stearate is a good example of a surfactant. It is the most common surfactant in soap. Another common surfactant is 4-(5-dodecyl)benzenesulfonate. Other examples include docusate (dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate), alkyl ether phosphates, benzalkaonium chloride (BAC), and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS

What are the 4 types of surfactants?

The answer is yes, there are four different types of surfactants which are nonionic, anionic, cationic, amphoteric . These surfactants differ in composition and polarity. Surfactants also known as surface active agents, are used to lower the surface tension between liquid

What is surfactants and examples?

Sodium stearate is a good example of a surfactant . It is the most common surfactant in soap. Another common surfactant is 4-(5-dodecyl)benzenesulfonate. Other examples include docusate (dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate), alkyl ether phosphates, benzalkaonium chloride (BAC), and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS).

What are surfactants and what is their role in chemical control?

Surfactants are adjuvants that facilitate and accentuate the emulsifying, dispersing, spreading, wetting, or other surface modifying properties of liquids .

What is the purpose of a surfactant?

Function. The main functions of surfactant are as follows: (1) lowering surface tension at the air–liquid interface and thus preventing alveolar collapse at end-expiration , (2) interacting with and subsequent killing of pathogens or preventing their dissemination, and (3) modulating immune responses.

How will you describe your surfactants?

Surfactants, or surface-active agents, are amphiphilic molecules . Their heads are polar, or hydrophilic, and their tails hydrophobic. They are soluble in both organic solvent and water. The surfactant reduces the surface tension of water by adsorbing at the liquid–gas interface.

What is the most common example of a surfactant?

Alkyl sulfates include ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl and the related alkyl-ether sulfates sodium laureth sulfate, also known as sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), and sodium myreth sulfate. These are the most common surfactants and comprise the alkyl carboxylates (soaps), such as sodium stearat

What are three types of surfactants?

Types of Surfactants

  • Anionic Surfactants. Anionic surfactants have a negative charge on their hydrophilic end. ...
  • Nonionic Surfactants. Nonionic surfactants are neutral, they do not have any charge on their hydrophilic end. ...
  • Cationic Surfactants. ...
  • Amphoteric Surfactants.

What are two surfactants?

Prominent alkyl sulfates include ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SLS, or SDS) , and the related alkyl-ether sulfates sodium laureth sulfate (sodium lauryl ether sulfate or SLES), and sodium myreth sulfate. Others include: Docusate (dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate)