Colafax PME is monoalkyl phosphate derived from natural coconut fatty alcohols. Developed for use as a primary surfactant it is high foaming and very mild, according to the company.
The 100 percent natural surfactant is an extension to the company’s ‘green’ personal care line, and can be used in the formulation of ethylene oxide-free, 1,4 dioxane-free and sulfate-free products.
Alternative to anionic surfactants
According to Colonial, Colafax PME is particularly suitable for formulators looking for an alternative to traditional anionic surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate.
Although such surfactants offer excellent foaming and low costs, the company said, they have also been associated with higher degrees of irritation. Conversely, while amphototerics are very mild, they offer inadequate lather.
As a general rule, said Colonial, as the foam and lather properties of a surfactant increase, so does irritation.
However, toxicity tests on similar compounds indicate that Colafax PME is non-irritating to the skin, with ‘mild’ eye irritation classification, the company said.
Use as a co-surfactant
The ingredient can also be used as a co-surfactant with traditional anionics and amphoterics in order to enhance skin feel and foaming as well as making a formulation milder, claims Colonial.
Colafax PME can be used in a variety of product formulations including shower gels and shampoos. Due to its mildness, it can be used in shampoos destined for color treated hair as it will not strip the hair of its color, the company said. In addition, it gives a silky after-feel to hair and skin.
The company says it believes the ingredient to be 100 percent biodegradable based on its chemical structure.