Sulfate-Free – What’s Wrong with Sulfates and Are the Alternatives Any Better?

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 (1:00PM - 2:00PM Eastern)
A webinar collaboration between the Society of Cosmetic Chemists and TRI Princeton.

Who should attend

Webinar Overview

Sulfate-based surfactants have been the back-bone of most shampoos and liquid skin cleansing products for decades.  Recently, however, they have had some bad press and launches of sulfate-free products have rocketed.  This presentation will examine, from the perspective of a neutral observer, the arguments for and against moving to sulfate-free products.  

The presentation will first cover the key roles that surfactants must play in shampoos and liquid cleansing products: cleansing, foaming, viscosity building and polymer deposition.  It will then look at how well sulfate-based surfactants currently fulfil these requirements.

Next, the presentation will look at the evidence behind some of the stories in the press about sulfate-based surfactants.  For example, that they contain dangerous toxins, that they dry and irritate the skin and that they are not environmentally sustainable or natural.  

Finally, the various challenges in moving to sulfate-free formulations will be presented.  Alternative surfactants will also be critically reviewed.  It is hoped that this presentation will help cosmetic scientists make better evidence-based decisions on whether to move to sulfate-free formulations.

Speaker: Paul Cornwell, TRI Princeton

Moderators: Kelly Dobos & Perry Romanowski, SCC Education Advisory Committee


Registration rates


  • Free for SCC Members 
  • Free for TRI Princeton Members (via email coupon code)
  • $25 for Non-Members

Register here.

Note: all registrations are final and non-refundable. Each registrant will have access to an on-demand replay of the webinar, in the event they are not able to attend the live webcast.

A topic of interest

Who Should Attend

This Webinar should be of interest to any cosmetic scientists involved in the formulation of surfactant-based wash products, or in the production of surfactant raw materials.  It will also be a useful briefing for product development managers and marketing professionals involved in cosmetic claims.