Surfactants are a wonderful category of cosmetic ingredient to discover. They add cleansing and foaming properties to a formula and are therefore used to create a wide range of products including face washes, body washes, shower gel, hand wash, bubble bath, shower foam and foaming cleansers.
Take our Formulating with Natural Surfactants course to learn the science of surfactants, discover a selection of gentle, natural surfactant choices (so you can avoid harsh surfactants such as SLS) and formulate a wide range of cleansing and foaming skincare products that are natural, mild and effective.
Please note: Our Formulating with Natural Surfactants course doesn’t cover haircare products or solid surfactant-based products. To learn how to formulate haircare products (including solid shampoo) we recommend our Diploma in Natural Haircare Formulation.
In Module 1 you’ll learn all of the essential theory needed to make a wide range of surfactant-based products.
We’ll introduce you to a wide range of natural surfactants, many of which are approved for use in certified organic skincare products. We provide detailed information on each one, including if they carry any certifications, their characteristics and where you can buy them.
Formulating surfactant-based products is different to formulating other types of cosmetics. Not all surfactants are compatible with one another so we’ll explain how to know which surfactants you can combine and which ones you can’t. You’ll also learn how to combine complementary surfactants and how to substitute surfactants in a formula.
Some surfactants are much more active than others, and can therefore be too harsh and drying on the skin if used at the wrong amount. We’ll teach you how to calculate how much active surfactant matter is in your formula so you can choose how gentle or strong you want the cleansing action to be.
Module 1 includes four in-depth lessons:
1.2 Surfactant types
1.3 Natural surfactant options
1.4 Surfactant active matter
In this module we take an in-depth look at how to formulate face and body washes with natural surfactants.
2.1 Formulating surfactant-based face and body washes
You’ll learn about the typical structure of a face and body wash formula so you know which ingredients to use and why. Surfactants are the foundation of this product type but there are many other ingredients you can include to make the products more moisturizing and hydrating, to condition and add nourishment to the skin and to add fragrance or change the appearance. We explore many types of additional ingredients and the benefits they bring to the formula.
Discover the appropriate active matter for different surfactant-based products and how to formulate for different skin types.
We’ll go ‘behind the label’ of products on the market to analyze what ingredients they contain and why.
You’ll also learn about the manufacturing method and suitable packaging choices.
By the end of this module you’ll be able to formulate a range of face washes, body washes and shower gels for different skin types.
We provide seven formulas for you to practice with and our demonstration video will show you step-by-step how to make your product.
You’ll learn how to combine different surfactants, add other complementary ingredients such as humectants and extracts, and calculate the active matter to formulate products suited for dry skin and oily skin.
You’ll also receive a very useful product development and formulation worksheet for face and body washes. The worksheet gives you helpful guidance about the ingredients to include in this formula type and the suggested percentages. You’ll find it an invaluable aid to creating your own formulations.
Module 3 includes four lessons:
3.1 Introduction to face and body wash formulas
3.2 Example formulation: Lemon and Papaya Body Wash
3.3 Example formulation: Pomegranate and Geranium Face Wash for Oily Skin
3.4 Example formulation: Pomegranate and Geranium Face Wash for Dry Skin
Foaming cleansers and shower foams create a fun sensory experience for the user as they are liquid in the bottle and magically turn into foam when dispensed!
By the end of this module you’ll be able to formulate a range of gentle, foaming cleansers and shower foams for different skin types.
We provide three formulas for you to practice with and our demonstration video will show you step-by-step how to make your product. You’ll also receive a very useful product development and formulation worksheet for foaming cleanser and shower foam/mousse formulas.
You’ll learn how to combine different surfactants, add other complementary ingredients such as humectants, skin conditioning agents and extracts, and calculate the active matter to formulate products suited for dry skin and oily skin.
Module 4 includes four lessons:
4.1 Introduction to foaming face wash and shower foam/mousse
4.2 Example formulation: Shower Foam/Mousse
4.3 Example formulation: Bergamot Foaming Cleanser for Oily Skin
4.4 Example formulation: Cucumber and Lavender Foaming Cleanser for Dry Skin
By the end of this module you’ll be able to formulate a range of gentle, hand washes and luxurious, bubbly bubble baths!
We provide eight formulation examples, including three hand wash formulas and five bubble bath formulas, and our demonstration video will show you step-by-step how to make your product. You’ll also receive a very useful product development and formulation worksheet for hand wash and bubble bath formulas.
You’ll learn how to combine different surfactants, add other complementary ingredients such as humectants, skin conditioning agents and extracts, and calculate the active matter to vary the properties of your formula.
Module 5 includes four lessons:
5.1 Introduction to hand wash and bubble bath formulas
5.2 Example formulations: Orange and Neroli Hand Wash
5.3 Example formulation: Manuka and Lemon Tea Tree Hand Wash
5.4 Formulation examples: Honey and Lemon Bubble Bath
5.5 Formulation examples: Lavender Bubble Bath
Join the Club first and then select the Formulating with Natural Surfactants course from the dashboard.
Membership to the Club is $57 per month (plus sales tax where applicable).
For your membership fee you receive 50 credits each month to spend on anything in the Club you like. You can also top up with more credits once inside the Club.
Module 1 of Formulating with Natural Surfactants is 100 credits, and each subsequent module is 50 credits, meaning the five-module course is 300 credits in total.
You can pick and choose the modules you wish to take. Module 1 and 2 are prerequisites for all the other modules. Once you’ve completed Modules 1 and 2 you can complete all the other modules or just the ones of interest to you.
If you wish, after taking all five modules, you can upgrade your enrollment to our Diploma in Formulating with Natural Surfactants. This enables you to submit assignments to be marked by our Cosmetic Scientists and receive an Diploma Certificate, accredited by the CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Certification Service.
The Natural Cosmetic Formulation Club is a unique and flexible learning experience, with the added benefits of support from our scientists and membership of an international community of formulators.