Few people know what these surfactants are. These are chemicals called surfactants. They cause 2 immiscible liquids to emulsify. That is, two insoluble liquids are combined in a homogeneous way, in this case to obtain their properties to act together, adding them.
These liquids are used in many types of liquid cleaners, such as laundry detergents, dishwashers and, in this case, in shampoos and bath gels. Today there are 400 different formulations, mostly derived from petroleum, but for personal hygiene and beauty products are natural surfactants, such as saponins, alcohol sulfates and soap.
The function of surfactants in personal hygiene and hair beauty products is to obtain a greater penetration of soap and water into the hair and skin, obtaining a greater cleansing due to their emulsifying effect.
Its role is to increase the dissolving capacity of water to absorb more dirt, because surfactants penetrate better into the dermis and scalp. After applying them, the skin will be much softer and less tight, as well as more hair. silky and brighter in the case of shampoos.
People need to know that, so far, they have not been detected as harming health problems with the amounts of surfactants contained in personal hygiene and beauty products. This is not the case with surfactants found in cleaning products, in which allergies to these compounds are not uncommon and often cause contact dermatitis.
This is due to the fact that it weakens the barrier capacity of the epidermis, as it removes the protective fat from the skin, causes cell damage in the epithelium and increases the loss of fluid from the dermis, decreasing its thickness.
They can cause indirect damage to health because they pollute the environment.
According to the Trade Union Institute for Work, Environment and Health (ISTAS): “The most important environmental problems come from the use of surfactants and phosphates in the manufacture of detergents and their consequences on soil and water.”
Even if surfactants are not directly related to the problem of personal hygiene and beauty products, it is worth a few lines, because these surfactants are poured tons of sea daily through washing machines, sewers, sinks, etc.
Among other consequences, they create a foam that reduces the diffusion of atmospheric oxygen and increases the toxicity of some compounds in the water, negatively affecting the marine life on which we depend so much. .