Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate: A Complete Overview for Formulators

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate: A Complete Overview for Formulators


This article aims to offer a thorough understanding of SCI, covering its properties, applications, and formulation recommendations for formulators and chemists. One of the leading companies that produce SCI is Ecoori, which offers Supersurf SCI 85A, a mild primary surfactant that produces dense, luxurious foam. Ecoori's SCI is known for its rich, creamy, and stable lather, making it an ideal ingredient for creating high-quality personal care products.

Properties of Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate presents itself as a solid, gentle anionic surfactant derived from coconut oil. It serves as a versatile, natural ingredient suitable for crafting solid and opaque liquid cleansers.

One of the standout properties of Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate is its gentle nature. This anionic surfactant ensures a mild cleansing action, making it suitable for a wide range of personal care applications. Professionals can rely on its compatibility with various skin types, providing a universal appeal.

  • Usage Rate: The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has concluded that SCI is safe for use in cosmetic formulations at 50% in rinse-off products and 17% in leave-on products. The usage rate in any given formulation depends on various variables. For solid bars, a starting point is usually at least 30% SCI, while for liquid formulations, 5–15% is a decent starting point

  • Foaming Capacity: This property allows for the creation of products that not only cleanse effectively but also indulge users in a rich and satisfying lather. SCI can lift and remove dirt, hydrate the hair and skin to protect against dryness, and create a rich, foaming lather.

  • Appearance and Scent: Available in various forms like fine powder, lumpy powder, chips, or noodles, SCI carries a soapy/detergent-y scent. The typical active surfactant matter is approximately 84%, subject to supplier verification.

  • Solubility and Emulsifying Properties: SCI requires suitable solvent dissolution for liquid products and acts as an effective emulsifier, contributing to texture and consistency in formulations.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate: Application in Cosmetic Formulations: 

Exploring the applications of Supersurf SCI 85A in cosmetic formulations is a strategic move for personal care professionals aiming to create products that resonate with consumers. In this article, we will take a closer look at how this anionic surfactant can be used to maximize benefits in skincare and haircare formulations.

  • Cleansing Products: Offering a gentle yet thorough cleansing experience. With recommended concentrations between 5-20%, it is ideal for facial cleansers catering to sensitive skin types, ensuring effective cleansing without irritation.

  • Balancing Act in Shampoos: Formulating shampoos requires a delicate balance, and Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate plays an important role in achieving this equilibrium. With a recommended usage concentration of 10-50%, it generates a rich lather while maintaining a mild touch on the scalp. This makes it suitable for a variety of hair types, ensuring a cleansing experience that is both effective and mild.

  • Long-lasting Stability: Stability is crucial in creams and lotions, and Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate contributes significantly to this aspect. With a recommended concentration usage of 1-10%, it stabilizes emulsions, ensuring that the product maintains its integrity over time. This is especially beneficial for creams catering to dry or sensitive skin types.

Natural Extracts

  • Chamomile: Known for its soothing properties, chamomile at a concentration of 0.5-2% complements Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate by providing a gentle and calming effect, making it suitable for formulations targeting sensitive skin.

  • Aloe Vera: With a concentration of 1-5%, aloe vera enhances the hydrating properties of Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, contributing to formulations that nourish and moisturize the skin.

  • Green Tea: At a concentration of 0.5-2%, green tea extract adds antioxidant benefits to the formulation, working alongside Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate to protect the skin from environmental stressors.

  • Calendula: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, calendula at a concentration of 1-3% complements Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, making it suitable for formulations designed to soothe and calm irritated skin.

The integration between Supersurf SCI 85A and these natural extracts introduces a new dimension, providing consumers with effective, gentle, and naturally enriched cosmetic solutions. 

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate synergies in action

Exploring the synergies of Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate reveals a seamless partnership with natural oils, extracts, polymers, and other chemicals, providing personal care professionals with insights for crafting sophisticated formulations.

  • Jojoba Oil (1-5%): SCI molecular structure complements the fatty acids in jojoba oil, creating a harmonious blend. The surfactant enhances cleansing, while jojoba oil adds moisturization, making it ideal for formulations targeting dry skin.

    Suitable for facial cleansers, body washes, or shampoos, providing a balance between effective cleansing and skin hydration. Both ingredients contribute to stability, ensuring a prolonged shelf life for the formulation.

  • Argan Oil (1-5%): SCI collaborates with argan oil, ensuring effective cleansing combined with nourishment. The chemical interplay results in a luxurious product suitable for skincare and haircare formulations. 

    Ideal for formulating cleansers or shampoos that provide both cleansing and conditioning benefits. The combination of these ingredients not only enhances the formulation's stability but also extends the longevity of the final product.

  • Sweet Almond Oil (1-5%): The molecular compatibility of SCI with sweet almond oil enhances cleansing properties while adding a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizing effect. The combination is suitable for gentle yet effective cleansing.

    Perfect for creating skincare products that cater to the needs of sensitive or combination skin, this formulation strikes a harmonious balance between effective cleansing and nourishing moisturization. The antioxidant-rich properties of sweet almond oil also improve the stability and longevity of the product.

  • Coconut Oil (1-5%): The chemical synergy with SCI ensures effective cleansing while maintaining a mild touch, making it suitable for various skin types. 

    Versatile and suitable for a wide range of formulations, including facial cleansers, body washes, and shampoos. Coconut oil contributes to the stability of the formulation, extending its shelf life.

Natural Polymers Synergy

  • Xanthan Gum (0.1-1%): The combination with xanthan gum enhances viscosity and stability, contributing to the texture of cosmetic products. It is ideal for formulations where texture enhancement and stability are crucial, such as creams or lotions.

It's important to note that Supersurf SCI 85A is a mild, non-irritating surfactant commonly used in natural, baby, and sensitive skin care products. Its exceptional foaming ability and stability in both hard and soft water make it a versatile ingredient for a wide range of cosmetic formulations. 

Synergistic Surfactant Blends

When formulating personal care products, it is essential to conduct a comparative synergy analysis of Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) with other surfactants.

SCI and Sodium Lauryl Methyl Isethionate (SLMI)

  • Ideal concentration: For optimal results, it is recommended to use SCI at a concentration of 10-30% and SLMI at a concentration of 5-15%. These carefully balanced quantities ensure a harmonious blend, enhancing foaming properties and effective cleansing. Gradually adjust the concentrations while monitoring formulation stability to achieve the desired outcome.

  • Suitable for: Body washes, and facial cleansers, providing a balance of cleansing efficacy and a luxurious feel. Ideal for individuals with normal to oily skin in facial cleansers, and those looking for a luxurious cleansing experience in body washes, catering to a diverse range of users.

SCI and Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate (SMCT)

  • Ideal concentration: The usage of SCI at a concentration of 15-35% and SMCT at a concentration of 10-25% enhances the formulation's overall performance. By gradually incorporating these ingredients and carefully assessing stability, you can tailor the quantities to meet your specific formulation needs. The unique synergy between SCI and SMCT not only contributes to stability but also ensures a prolonged shelf life, making it an ideal choice for a variety of formulations.

  • Suitable for: Creating a range of beauty products, including luxurious shampoos, invigorating body washes, and refreshing facial cleansers. These formulations specifically cater to individuals who value stability and reliability, especially when it comes to their facial cleansers.

SCI and Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB)

  • Ideal concentration: To achieve the perfect balance between natural origin and stability in sulfate-free formulations, it is recommended to use SCI at a concentration of 20-40% and CAPB at a concentration of 5-15%. To ensure optimal stability and foam quality, it is advisable to start with lower concentrations of CAPB and gradually increase while closely monitoring the formulation's stability and the quality of foam produced.

  • Suitable for: Sulfate-free cleansers, natural-origin formulations, ensuring stability and rich foam. Specially desired by end users seeking sulfate-free options with a natural origin and stable formulation.

SCI and Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (SLA)

  • Ideal concentration: To harness the potential of SCI, it is recommended to incorporate it at a concentration of 15-30%, while SLA should be used at a concentration of 5-15%. By starting with lower concentrations and gradually adjusting based on the desired level of mildness and conditioning, you can create a truly tailored and skin-friendly formulation. 

  • Suitable for: Baby cleansers, formulations for sensitive skin, providing mild cleansing and conditioning.

SCI and Sodium Methyl Isethionate (SMI)

  • Ideal concentration: It is recommended to use SCI at a concentration of 20-35% and SMI at a concentration of 5-15% to create a blend that harnesses the strengths of both surfactants, resulting in a harmonious balance of cleansing and stability. Gradually increasing the concentration of SMI while closely monitoring stability will help achieve the desired formulation characteristics.

  • Suitable for: Shampoos, facial cleansers, and body washes, providing a harmonious balance of cleansing and stability.


As the demand for natural and skin-friendly formulations continues to increase, SCI proves to be a standout ingredient, effortlessly meeting high-standard expectations. Its natural origin, mildness on the skin, and compatibility with various formulations make it a go-to choice for personal care experts.

By choosing Ecoori's Supersurf SCI 85A, formulators not only enhance the performance of their formulations but also contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious industry. Improve your formulations with SCI from Ecoori, where innovation meets eco-consciousness for a brighter and greener future in personal care.

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