Formulating Sulfate-Free Shampoos Using Sarcosinates

Apr 08, 2020

In the previous article, we have shared on amino acid-based surfactant as the next generation of cleansing ingredient in Asia. There are several types of amino acid-based surfactant, such as sarcosinates, glycinates, glutamates and alaninates etc., that are used in shampoo formulations. In our subsequent articles, we shall go in depth on each of these surfactants. We will first explore the benefits of using different surfactants, then, which market product uses this surfactant, and lastly, how to formulate with the surfactant. In particular, we will focus on sodium lauroyl sarcosinate which is used to formulate sulfate-free shampoos.

About Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate

Figure 1 Chemical Structure Of Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate

Benefits of Using Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate

Mild Surfactant with High Foaming Power

Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is used as a cleansing surfactant in many mild and ultra-mild personal care products in Asia. Asian consumers tend to equate high foaming with effective cleansing power. Therefore, its high foaming power makes it a popular choice as a primary surfactant for sulfate-free  shampoos.

Tolerant to Hard Water

Hard water, where the water contains high amount of calcium and magnesium salts, is common in Asia. These salts will decrease the cleansing power and foam volume of a formulation. Since, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate has high tolerance to salt and hard water, its cleansing function will not be compromised. Furthermore, it can minimise foam volume loss due to hard water. This allows consumers in different parts of Asia to enjoy good cleansing and foaming when they shampoo their hair.

Reduces Irritancy

Not only does sodium lauroyl sarcosinate has high foaming power, it is non-sensitizing and can be used as a co-surfactant to reduce scalp irritancy. It is also compatible with polyquaternium cations, making it an excellent choice as a cleansing surfactant for 2-in-1 shampoo formulations.

Market Product that Contains Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate

Keratin Repairing Shampoo is a sulfate-free shampoo that utilizes sodium lauroyl sarcosinate as a primary surfactant. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate enables milder formulation with effective cleansing and foaming. Furthermore, it has good compatibility with Cetrimonium Chloride in the formulation.

Why I need it: Bring new life to your hair and enjoy this ultra-mild and exotic shampoo, formulated without sodium chloride or sulfates to help protect keratin hair smoothing treatments.

Formulation Guide - Sulfate-Free Conditioning Shampoo

Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is a popular choice for sulfate-free shampoos as it is mild and cost-effective. With this in mind, we will share a formulation with sodium lauroyl sarcosinate. The formulation also includes polyquaternium-10 and guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride which provides good hair conditioning effect.

Over the years, cosmetic regulations have become increasingly stringent. The most recent law is the restriction on the 1,4-dioxane levels present in products. For this reason, manufacturers are looking for alternatives that will not compromise the efficacy of the product. In summary, the benefits that Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate possess allows it to replace sulfate surfactants in shampoo formulations.

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