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Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate – what is it?

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate and shampoo

This is the last surfactant in our shampoo before we move on to some other fun categories!  Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate (DLSS) is the most mild surfactant we put in our shampoo.  It has the lowest eye and skin irritation of any surfactant in the formula. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) report has been out for a long time and you can find it here. Certain sulfosuccinates are so mild you could pour them directly in your eye and they would feel no worse than water.  I wouldn’t recommend trying it at home though!

We have data showing sulfosuccinates also foam really well.  We also have data to show they produce a very small bubble similar to the SCI I mentioned a few posts back.  The addition of this product, therefore, is similar to the reasons we added Lauryl Glucoside.  We found it provided better micelle packing, which improves the foam.  It mitigates the irritation potential of the SLS/SLES base.  But, the added benefit is this product doesn’t hurt the persistence of the foam.  We just added a dab of this product to the formula, but found adding it made the foam better, and improved combability after just using shampoo.

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate and bubble bath

DLSS is the classic surfactant that is used in Mr. Bubble as well as other bubble baths.  We used it because of its mildness and ability to create a small bubble size, which makes for copious, long lasting foam.  When was the last time you took a bubble bath?

That wraps up our series on surfactants!  If you have any questions about any of these (or any surfactant we aren’t using for that matter), please leave them in the comments below.  We have years of experience in the making of these surfactants, as well as how to apply them in formulations.  We have received some strong feedback on the foaming performance of our shampoo, and we think the research we put into the surfactant package we used really hit the target we were going for.  In the next series, we focus on some of the conditioning agents we used and why we used them.  Please visit our website to see the whole ingredient list on Phique shampoo, click here.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I’ve been using this hand soap that I have been very impressed with that has the following ingredients, any thoughts on these surfactants (other than the isethionate, which is in Phique)?

    sodium cocoamphoacetate, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, sodium cocoyl isethionate, lauramine oxide

    1. Hi Christopher, thanks for continuing to follow us!

      Sodium cocoamphoacetate is a mild secondary surfactant found quite often in baby shampoo. It’s a moderate foamer and viscosity builder. I’m not surprised someone would use in a hand soap because viscosity isn’t that important (in fact too much is undesirable). Sodium methyl coco taurate is a really high foaming surfactant that is used quite a bit in “sulfate-free” formulas. Also not great at building viscosity. Lauramine oxide is commonly found in liquid dish detergents. It’s a very stable and high foaming ingredient. It’s no wonder you’re impressed, they used mainly really high foaming surfactants in that formulation! It’s also probably going to be mild on the skin.

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