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Conditioning cationic surfactants are used ubiquitously in rinse-off and leave-on hair care formulations to improve wet and dry combability and repair damaged hair. Skincare formulations with high emollient loadings benefit from cationic surfactants used as oil-in-water emulsifiers in order to improve the stability and aesthetics of these high oil content formulations. The majority of cationic surfactants used in personal care applications are quaternary ammonium species or “quats”, which bear a permanent cationic charge independent of solution pH. This includes common quats such as Behentrimonium Chloride and Distearyldimonium Chloride.

Quaternary ammonium surfactants have potential risks associated with them that may carry over into formulations and a product’s life cycle.

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