Surfactants: how to protect your skin.

What are surfactants?

Surfactants are so-called ‘cleansing’ substances and are among the most widely used chemical compounds in homes. They ensure that dirt particles can be removed from laundry, skin, dishes and other surfaces. Surfactants are effective because they are able to bind water-insoluble, lipid-containing (oily) soiling to the water molecules, enabling the soiling to be washed away. To ensure thorough cleansing, surfactants thus play an indispensable role in many cosmetic products such as shampoos, shower gels, creams and make-up products. However, surfactants are effective to varying degrees. It is worth making a conscious decision when selecting cleansing products.

 

Why are surfactants the subject of criticism?

Some surfactants have a particularly high cleansing power, but with the effect that they can also attack the natural protective acid mantle of the skin. The skin becomes more permeable to foreign particles and sometimes reacts in the form of dry and scaly areas. Mucous membranes can also react sensitively; the well-known stinging in the eyes is a typical symptom. With cosmetic products in particular, it is therefore important to use products with mild surfactants to avoid irritating the skin. How do you recognise such products? As a general rule, a product contains more aggressive surfactants if it produces a large amount of foam; sugar and coconut-based surfactants foam less but are also milder on the skin.

 

Which surfactants are used in RAUSCH products?

At RAUSCH, we use selected, particularly mild surfactants made from renewable raw materials. These are ideal for the cleansing and care of the hair and scalp.

 

Panama bark extract

(Quillaja saponaria extract) contains a high level of saponins, oxalic acid, quillaic acid, bitter compounds and starch. It is a natural cleansing substance obtained by RAUSCH's in-house extraction process.

 

Sodium laureth sulphate

A high quality, mild surfactant produced on the basis of Mass Balance* palm kernel oil (Elaeis guineensis L.) and coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.), with a high content of saturated fatty acids such as lauric acid (44%), myristic acid (17%) and palmitic acid (8%). A gentle anionic cleansing substance. Should not be confused with sodium lauryl sulphate, an aggressive surfactant especially unsuitable for sensitive skin.

 

Sugar surfactant

(Lauryl glucoside) is produced on the basis of corn starch (Zea mays L.) and coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.). An especially mild non-ionic cleansing substance.

 

* As a committed member of the ‘Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil’ (RSPO), we use only Mass Balance-certified lauryl ether sulphate (INCI: sodium laureth sulphate). In doing so, we directly support the sustainable cultivation of certified palm and palm kernel oil. Thanks to our strong ties to selected raw material suppliers, maintaining an ongoing dialogue and an insistence on sustainable sources, we have succeeded in achieving a new standard in this respect.