You can find low ethoxylated monoglycerides - like PEG-7 cocoate - and alkyl polyglucosides - like Plantaren (decyl glucoside), Plantapon LGC Sorb (sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate), and Plantasol CCG (caprylyl capryl glucoside). Some are foamy surfactants - like the Plantaren and Plantapon LGC Sorb - and some are means as solubilizers, like the Plantasol CCG or PEG-7 cocoate. (Although the LGC Sorb is anionic because of the carboxylate ion that makes it negative.)
The polyglucosides are good emulsifiers, good foamers, and good wetters. They have good chemical stability in neutral and alkaline pH. These are great co-surfactants as they can reduce the irritation potential of other surfactants, thicken mixtures, and improve foam volume in the presence of hard water or sebum. Some, however, aren't very foamy at all; instead, they are used to improve the qualities of other surfactants.
PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate is a non-ionic, low ethoxylated monoglyceride that can behave as an emulsifier, emollient, foamer, and skin conditioner in our products. It is a thickening polymer, meaning it will thicken your surfactant mix when used with anionic surfactants. It is emollient, which means it will reduce skin irritation from other surfactants, and will re-fatten your skin when you are bathing or shampooing. It can make the foam feel slippery, which is a nice thing in a body wash. It's not really a detergent type surfactant - you'd never use it as the primary or even co-surfactant because it's meant to boost the qualities of your surfactant mix. Use it at 2% to 10% in cleansers and shampoos.
Plantaren 2000N (decyl glucoside) is a very mild non-ionic cleanser that works well as both a primary or secondary surfactant as it is a good foamer. It has an alkaline pH - 7 to 9.5 - so you'll have to bring your pH down with citric acid or another acidic ingredient to ensure it reaches the right pH for skin and hair. (Another data sheet states the pH is 11.5! EEK!) It is about 48% to 52% active ingredients in the surfactant, and the suggested use is 4% to 40%. This is a great ingredient for a conditioning shampoo or body wash as it improves the cationic conditioning in your products, as well as offer foam stabilization.
Plantapon LGC Sorb (sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate) is not considered a polyglucoside, but I include it here anyway because it's part of the Plant- family of surfactants. It has a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, which is perfect for our hair and body care products. It shows excellent foaming, and works well with disodium cocoamphidiacetate. It's about 28.5% to 34% active in the bottle.
Plantasol CCG (caprylyl capryl glucoside) is a non-ionic solubilizer, much like polysorbate 20, and it can be used in surfactant systems to help emulsify oils or in a lotion as a high HLB emulsifier. It is not a foaming surfactant, but a surfactant enhancer. It is very compatible with surfactant systems, which means if you want some oils in your shampoo, this is the product you can use. The Herbarie recommends it for make up removers and facial cleansers because it is such a mild cleanser. The suggested use is 1% to 10%.
These surfactants are excellent for all skin types as they will moisturize skin without oils and offer gentle to mild cleansing. The down side is the pH in the Plantaren 2000 must be altered or it will not work well with our skin.
In this make-up remover recipe, try substituting one of these polyglucosides for the BSB in the recipe to enjoy a lovely mild, slightly foamy, slightly cleansing make-up remover!
Join me tomorrow for fun with non-ionic alkanolamides!