Gleams & Notions

A Tale of Two Silicones From Dow Corning

By Harvey M. Fishman | March 13, 2013

This month’s discussion is focused on two Dow Corning silicone-derived products. One is for hair use and the other is for skin formulas.

The hair product is Dow Corning CE-8411 Smooth Plus Emulsion (INCI name: Bis-isopropylamino-PG-propyl dimethicone/bis-isobutyl PEG-14 copolymer (and) butyloctanol). It is a white, pourable nonionic emulsion with an active silicone content of 56% and is recommended for use in water based hair products. In shampoos and conditioners, it should be used at 1-5%.

The company ran comparative tests comparing this ingredient in shampoo and rinse off conditioners to the same formulations containing other Dow Corning silicone emulsions and competitive products that claim moisturizing benefits. Dow Corning’s tests showed the CE-8411 performed well in wet combing and in dry combing tests; it exceeded or matched the performance of the other products. Also, it is claimed that it significantly outperformed all other products in its ability to add shine to the hair after its use in a rinse off conditioner, and it provides color protection to the hair.

For manufacturing, it should be added after the temperature of the batch is lowered to 40°C or less, as shown in the following suggested formula.

Moisturizing Shampoo

Ingredients: %Wt.
Phase A  
Water 52.11
Tetrasodium EDTA 0.20
Sodium laureth sulfate 28.00
Cocamide MEA 1.50
PEG-120 methylglucose 1.00
Glyceryl stearate 2.00
Phase B  
Cocamidopropyl betaine 4.00
Decyl glucoside 4.00
Dow Corning CE-8411 1.79
Panthenol 0.50
Phenoxyethanol andmethylisotiazolinone 0.50
Phase C  
Glycerin 2.00
Sodium chloride 1.00
Fragrance 0.30
Phase D  
10% citric acid solution 1.10

Procedure: Mix constantly while heating phase A to 75°C. When melted, cool to 40°C and add phase B,C, and D in order.

Skin Care Concepts

The other product is Dow Corning EL-7040 Hydro Elastomer Blend (INCI Name: Caprylyl methicone (and) PEG-12 dimethicone/PPG-20 crosspolymer). Its benefits are as follows:
  • Provides a smooth, powdery, non-greasy skin feel;
  • Enhances spreadibility;
  • Improves organic compatibility versus traditional silicone elastomer gels;
  • Produces clear systems with organic components;
  • Enhances aesthetics of water and oil based formulations;
  • Gives thickening benefits with organic solvents and in alcohol systems; and
  • Incorporate up to 75% of water and up to 40% glycerin
This ingredient can be formulated into O/W or W/O emulsions, water-in-silicone emulsions and anhydrous products. It is usually added to the oil or silicone phase in an emulsion, but in some cases, it may be possible to add it to the water phase if sufficient levels of elastomer and shear are applied to cause a phase inversion. Formulations may be made without using heat as illustrated below.

Quick Break After Sun Lotion

Ingredients: %Wt.
Phase A  
Menthyl lactate 0.8
Dimethicone 1.0
Caprylyl methicone 4.0
PEG/PPG-19/19 dimethicone(and) C13-16 isoparaffin (and)
C10-13 isoparaffin
Dow Corning EL-7040hydro elastomer blend 22.0
Phase B  
Water 56.5
Glycerin 8.5
Propylene glycol (and) diazolidinylurea (and) iodopropynyl
Aloe barbadensis leaf juice 4.0
Acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester 1.0

Procedure: Mix first three ingredients until the menthyl lactate is dissolved. Add rest of phase A ingredients and mix with a dual blade setup at 500rpm until homogeneous. Mix phase B ingredients in separate container. Increase mixing speed of A to 1376rpm.

Slowly add phase B to phase A using a funnel. If necessary, scrape the material on the sides of the vessel toward the center. Use of baffles may eliminate this need. When addition is complete, continue mixing for 10-20 minutes.
Harvey M. Fishman

Harvey Fishman has a consulting firm in Wanaque, NJ, specializing in cosmetic formulations and new product ideas, offering tested finished products. He has more than 30 years of experience and has been director of research at Bonat, Nestlé LeMur and Turner Hall. He welcomes descriptive literature from suppliers and bench chemists and others in the field.