Personal care

Surfactants are essential constituents in virtually all of the modern personal care products and formulations we take for granted every day. From daily shower and bath routines and keeping skin soft and healthy to protecting teeth and nails, surfactants enable these products to perform their role safely and efficiently.


Typical personal care products

  • Skin creams and lotions
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Liquid soap
  • Tooth paste
  • Sunscreen
  • Shaving foam and gel
  • Hair gel
  • Deodorant
  • Cosmetics

A large number of different surfactants are employed in Personal Care applications, each one displaying different performance or aesthetic properties. Surfactant selection is designed for the specific task at hand, whether that’s creating a rich, creamy lather or foam for washing, bathing and shaving; softening, lubricating and moisturising skin; or creating an attractive protective layer for hair, lips and nails.

Surfactants clean and foam in shampoos and hair conditioners, shower gels, liquid soaps and bath additives. Mild shampoos with surfactants that are gentle to the skin and don’t sting the eyes have become standard.

Skin-compatible surfactants act as emulsifiers and stabilise the fine water or oil droplets in creams and thin lotions. The emulsions in skin care cosmetics and sun screens are quickly absorbed by the skin, do not cause a shiny, greasy film or leave any grease spots on clothing.

Surfactants also enable the fine dispersion of colour pigments in make-up and lipstick. They disperse perfumes in toilet waters, aftershaves and hair lotions and are found in hair dyes and hair care products as well as shaving creams and toothpastes.