Sodium alpha olefin sulfonate (AOS) can be used as a substitute for sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) in certain applications. Both AOS and SLES are surfactants commonly used in personal care and household cleaning products for their foaming, cleansing, and emulsifying properties. However, there are some differences between the two that you should consider before making a substitution:
1. Chemical Structure: Sodium alpha olefin sulfonate is derived from alpha olefins, which are longer hydrocarbon chains, whereas sodium laureth sulfate is derived from ethoxylated lauryl alcohol. The differences in chemical structure can lead to variations in performance and characteristics.
2. Foaming: Both AOS and SLES are good foaming agents, but the foam produced by AOS can be more stable and have better wetting properties. This can make AOS a preferred choice for applications where stable and long-lasting foam is desired.
3. Mildness: SLES is often considered to be milder on the skin and hair compared to AOS. If your product is intended for sensitive skin or hair, you might need to test the formulation with AOS to ensure it doesn’t cause any irritation.
4. Compatibility: AOS might have different compatibility with other ingredients compared to SLES. It’s important to conduct compatibility tests to ensure that the substitution doesn’t negatively impact the stability or performance of the final product.
5. Cost: The cost of AOS can vary depending on the source and manufacturing process. Before making a substitution, it’s a good idea to consider the cost implications of switching from SLES to AOS.