|What is it?||Plantapon® SF NA is a pre-blended sulfate-free surfactant product made by BASF Care Creations as part of their “Plantapon®” range of surfactant products.|
|INCI||Sodium Cocoamphoacetate (and) Glycerin (and) Lauryl Glucoside (and) Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate (and) Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate|
|Usage rate||The manufacturer of Plantapon® SF NA suggests usage at 20–50%.|
|Active surfactant matter||30%|
|Charge||Plantapon® SF NA contains amphoteric, non-ionic, and anionic surfactants.|
|Why do we use it in formulations?||Plantapon® SF NA works as a lovely and very easy-to-use primary surfactant blend in our cleansing formulations. It is gentle and produces a beautiful, rich lather with nice rinse-off.|
|Do you need it?||No, but it is a nice “shortcut” surfactant product.|
|Refined or unrefined?||Plantapon® SF NA only exists as a refined product.|
|Strengths||Plantapon® SF NA is an easy-to-use blend that functions nicely as the sole surfactant blend in formulations, though you can also blend it with other surfactants. If you don’t want to invest in a lot of surfactants it’s a good option for easily creating a variety of gentle foaming/cleansing products.
Due to the presence of both Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate and Lauryl Glucoside you can thicken formulations made with Plantapon® SF NA by lowering the pH to approximately 4.7–5.8; precisely what works will depend on what else is going on in the formulation. Learn more here!
|Weaknesses||I find it can be pretty strong when used at the rate suggested by the manufacturer.|
|Alternatives & Substitutions||Iselux Ultra Mild is a pretty good alternative as it is also a blended surfactant product that thickens in lower pH environments.
Broadly speaking, another blended surfactant product like Plantapon® TF or STEPAN-MILD® BSB would be a decent place to start. If you are counting on the interplay between Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate and Lauryl Glucoside + an acidic pH to thicken the formulation you will need to thicken the formulation another way.
If you have a collection of anionic, amphoteric, and non-ionic surfactants you could also create your own blend, but that’s starting to get pretty far into re-formulating territory. Have fun!
|How to Work with It||Include it with the surfactant and/or water phase of your formulation. Plantapon® SF NA can be hot or cold processed.
BASF recommends a final pH of 4–5.5 for products made with Plantapon® SF NA.
|Storage & Shelf Life||Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Plantapon® SF NA should last at least one year. Plantapon® SF NA does not contain an added preservative.|
|Tips, Tricks, and Quirks||There are quite a few products in the Plantapon® range, so make sure you’re purchasing the correct one!
BASF lists Plantapon® SF NA as “good” for salt thickening.
|Recommended starter amount||250mL (8 fl oz)|
|Where to Buy it||In Canada, you can purchase Plantapon® SF NA from Voyageur Soap & Candle. Making Cosmetics (USA) sells a product they call “Coco Glucose” with the same INCI; I suspect it is the same product (though they list the active surfactant matter of their product at 42–52% vs. the 30% stated by BASF). I’ve also found it for sale in Germany, Greece, and Cyprus. It seems to be pretty widely available!|
Want to compare different surfactants?
Check out my super-useful surfactants table!