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Keratin Hydrolysate

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Keratin is the basic building material for most of the visible parts of the body. Both the stratum corneum (of the skin) as well as hair fi­bers are composed primarily of keratin. Keratin exists naturally as a cross-linked helical structure. It is the cross-linkage that accounts for the strength and extensibility of the individual hair fibers. The cross-linking occurs at disulfide bridges which anneal adjacent cysteine residues to form cystine, a feature that makes keratin unique amongst structural proteins. The disulfide bonds are the strongest bonds found in the hair and may be manipulated to either straighten or wave (perm) the hair.

Keratin can be hydrolyzed like any other protein and modified thereafter to achieve a variety of different functions. The hydrolysates can be modified to increase their subsantivity similar to quaternized proteins or condensed with fatty acids to alter their surface activity. Further reaction of the condensate with an alkaline material will result in a salt that can be utilized as a mild surfactant.

Produced by a combination of alkaline and enzymatic hydrolysis, Keratin Hydrolysate is an aqueous solution de­rived from human hair with an average molecular weight of approximately 2000 Daltons. Because of its molecular weight, hydrolyzed keratin does not penetrate the skin or hair, but rather plates out to form tenacious films. This com­bination of properties makes Keratin Hydrolysate an ideal ingredient where conditioning benefits are desired. The presence of hydrolyzed protein films on hair directly translates to increased shine and improved feel.

Because hydrolyzed proteins exist in solution as colloids, they are capable of interacting with anionic surfactants in such a way to form tightly bound protein-surfactant complexes. The presence of these complexes in personal care formula­tions greatly reduces the irritation and defatting potential of the surfactant. With surfactant systems, the film forming properties of Keratin Hydrolysate translates into longer-lasting and more stable foam structures. The addition of Keratin Hydrolysate to a cosmetic formulation may provide real consumer perceivable benefits such as reduced irritation, conditioning, film-forming and sustained foam capabilities.

INCI: Hydrolyzed Keratin

Suggested Use Levels: 1-5%
Appearance: Clear to Slightly Hazy, Light Amber Liquid
Suggested Application: Moisturization, Conditioning, Protection
pH: 5.5-7.0
Storage: Protected from direct light and humidity at a temperature of 50°-77°F (10°-25°C)
Shelf life: 12 months, properly stored, in sealed container.

This product should be added to a formulation at the recommended usage rate.