Consumers demand natural products that are safe, sustainable, and effective for adoption in their personal grooming routine. Regulatory restrictions of active ingredients, such as zinc pyrithione, have posed challenges for formulators seeking to provide high-performing products with a premium consumer experience. The use of multifunctional ingredients provides tangible benefits to haircare, while resulting in simplified ingredient lists. Addition of multifunctional raw materials also offers the benefit of decreasing the susceptibility of the formulation to microbial contamination, resulting in enhanced product protection when combined with an approved Annex V preservative.
Herein, we highlight the application of the green multifunctional surfactant – Solbrol® CLL (INCI: sodium caproyl/lauroyl lactylate, and sodium citrate) – for use in haircare. Offering an excellent foaming experience, the surfactant also adds to the holistic formulation strategy by decreasing microbial susceptibility of the total formulation, as evidenced by MIC data, along with microbial efficacy in shampoo of the multifunctional surfactant when paired with sodium benzoate. Strategic implementation of the surfactant offers a creative solution for formulators developing other personal care products.