10 Tips to Use Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate | BRM Chemicals

10 Tips to Use Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate | BRM Chemicals

Sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI) is a surfactant, which is utilized in the formulation of many personal care and beauty products. It is the most popular soap base, known to create a creamy and dense lather without causing any harm to skin and hair. Over the years, SCI has been proven to be very useful as it can be applied in almost all areas of cosmetics and toiletries.

For instance, if you are involved in formulating personal care products such as soaps, creams, or lotions, SCI is probably a common active ingredient you come across frequently in the formulation processes. Below we outline 10 tips for usage of this surfactant, which should be useful to anyone interested in getting the most out of this amazing product.

1. Creating Rich Lather

What makes SCI stand out completely is the fact that it produces a thick and rich foam. This makes it ideal for use in shower gels, facial washes, shampoos, bubble baths, and hand washes where thick foam is desirable. The optimal proportion of the foam characteristics can be obtained using SCI at a concentration of 5-15%.

2. Extremely Gentle Surfactant

However, this product is non-irritating to the skin, yet it produces quality luxurious foam. It is safe enough that is used in baby shampoos and other infant products to be used on babies. As stated above, SCI has good dermatological properties for sensitive skin and the preservative has good compatibility when formulated within the pH 5.5-7.0 range.

3. Stands Well in Syndet Bars

The high foam and good flash foam, created by sodium cocoyl isethionate, can be due to the compatibility of clear syndet and transparent facial bars. It can be synthesized from vegetable derived acyl isethionates and other glycerol esters that makes it possible to have a translucent bar product. This is achieved by using the synthetic SCI surfactant instead of soap which often imparts opacity to the bars and thus resulting in production of clear, aesthetically pleasing and highly attractive bars.

4. Boosts Thickening and Foaming

Combining SCI with other surfactants like sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, lauramide DEA, and lauramidopropyl betaine / decyl glucoside results in significant increases of foam thickness, volume, and stability in comparison to formulations containing SCI as the only surfactant.

The secondary surfactants also provide the thickening and stabilizing effects that enable formulation of excellent foam properties with a lesser total quantity of surfactant. These synergistic interactions between SCI and various foam boosters/thickeners make it possible to effectively reduce the surfactant loading whilst providing good lather properties.

5. Excellent Cleansing Ability

However, other than foaming, the other important function of SCI is to wash the skin and hair by reducing the sebum, the oils, dirt, sweat and other residues. Concentrations of 10-15% are effective for the facial and body washes to clean the skin without causing any irritation. The level of 15-30% can be used in further concentration to shampoos or soap base.

6. Conditioning Benefits

When this product is washed away in rinsing, it is only partially solubilized, allowing it to reincorporate onto skin and hairs. This provides another layer of moistening the skin. Other conditioning agents which may reinforce this moisturizing effect include silicones, fatty alcohols, proteins, and quaternary ammonium compounds may coat the hair shaft, or fill in porosity in the cuticle structure for improved smoothness and softness.

7. Boost Stability with Chelants

Sodium cocoyl isethionate is not very prone to degradation but can slowly be hydrolyzed and broken down into its constituent parts if left to stand for long or subjected to high temperatures and possibly extreme pH levels. The incorporation of 0.1-0.5% of chelating agents such as tetrasodium ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) will help in complexing and sequestering any transition metals that might be in the system and thus hinder decomposition reactions induced by them.

It was also found that when an appropriate level of EDTA or any other chelant is employed, there is an increase in the stability of the isethionate surfactant system and in fact the shelf life of the product under normal storage conditions.

8. Combine with Anionics

SCI has a high affinity for other anionic surfactants such as sodium laureth sulfate, C14-16 olefin sulfonate, alkyl benzene sulfonate and so on. Through blending, the surfactant plays a diversified role, and the total irritation value is lowered. To be more specific, the level of secondary anionic should not exceed the maximum of 10 percent.

9. Moderate Ecotoxicity

Based on the 4 hour LC50 testing, this product is relatively mildly toxic to marine life compared with some other surfactants or dry chemical powder, with a toxicity of 300- 500 mg/L. It gives 2/5 DOSS scale in the toxicity risk. More safety testing should be performed on all final products that contain any degree of SCI.

10. Cost Effective Ingredients

As for the price, SCI is rather cheap if calculated in terms of performance, which makes it rather appealing to the brand owners. When it comes to personal care manufacturing, there is a provision of bulk pricing for high volume manufacturing which makes it possible to offer affordable prices to customers. When it comes to supply, ensure that one gets the right suppliers to help him or her in cutting costs.


Sodium cocoyl isethionate is a mild surfactant that is used as an alternative to alkylbenzene sulfonates and which creates creamy foam and is a great cleaner. In formulations, appropriate usage of SCI has been proved to be innocuous, non-explosive and biodegradable. Listed above are the top ten usage tips to get the most out of this product. To buy the herbal extracts, visit BRM Chemicals!
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