Glossary of Cosmetic and Chemical Terms
The process of making soap through the hydrolysis of fatty acid esters using an alkali to form the soap and glycerin.
See chelating agent.
Substance used for cleansing formed by treating a fat with an alkali.
Agent used to improve the solubility of product ingredients.
A liquid that dissolves other ingredients. Many toiletries use water to dissolve and blend ingredients.
Substance added to another substance to prevent an undesirable modification of its physical state.
The production of a sulphate ester of a fatty alcohol that is neutralized with an alkali such as sodium hydroxide to create a surfactant.
The production of a sulphonate ester of a fatty alcohol that is neutralised with an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide, to create a surfactant.
|Surfactant (Surface Active Agent)
Surfactants lower the surface tension of the liquid in which they are dissolved allowing it to spread more easily across and lift dirt from soiled surfaces such as textiles and the human skin. Types of surfactants include wetting agents, foaming agents, cleansers, emulsifiers and solubilisers.