Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate

What is it? Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is a mild anionic surfactant. Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is not the same as Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, though I believe you could use either in most applications. The laureth version is produced with ethoxylation, while the lauryl version is not.
INCI Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
Appearance Pale semi-viscous liquid.
Usage rate Cosmetics Info does not list a maximum allowable usage rate. I’ve seen supplier recommendations ranging from 4–40%.
Texture Slippery, detergent-y
Scent Characteristically detergent-y
Active Surfactant Matter 30–35% for the liquid version, though this can vary so be sure you check with your supplier for what you have.
pH 5.5–6.2 (10% solution in water)
Charge Anionic
Solubility Water
Why do we use it in formulations? Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is a lovely cleansing, foaming surfactant. I love it in all kinds of washes—face, body, hand, shampoo, etc. It can be used as a primary surfactant or as part of a blend.
Do you need it? No
Refined or unrefined? Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate only exists as a refined product.
Strengths Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is a good mild cleansing surfactant with good foaming/lathering properties. It’s also inherently acidic, which makes it easier to make acidic cleansers.
Weaknesses Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is not considered natural—this isn’t an weakness to everyone, though.
Alternatives & Substitutions You’ll want to look at other anionic surfactants; liquid ones will be the easiest. Sodium C14-16 Alpha Olefin Sulfonate (Bio-Terge AS40) would be a pretty simple swap as the active surfactant matter (ASM) is close, but the pH is higher, so you’ll need to test and potentially adjust the pH of your finished product. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLeS) could also work, but be sure to compare active surfactant matter values as different Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLeS) can have very different active surfactant matters.
How to Work with It Include Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate in the water phase of your formulations; it can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks I’ve found some sources that say Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is natural/ECOCERT, but I think they’ve likely confused it with Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate. Because Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is produced with ethoxylation it isn’t considered natural.
Recommended starter amount 250mL (8fl oz) or less
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier.

Want to compare different surfactants?

Check out my super useful surfactants table!

Some Formulations that Use Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate


Posted on

May 23, 2021