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Have you read our recent blog post on what is tear-free shampoo or have you tried making an unscented tear-free shampoo?

Here is the second, super easy, basic formula for a Tear-Free Shampoo.

This formula has a fragrance and only requires four ingredients. Solubilizer is not needed in this formula, as the surfactant can solubilize the fragrance oil effectively. pH = 6.5

When formulating a tear-free shampoo, you need to look at the preservative. A lot of natural or naturally identical preservatives require quite a low pH (typically below 5.5) in order to be effective. So, many are not suitable to be used in a tear-free shampoo. If you have been following me, you will have noticed that I often use synthetic preservatives such as Liquid Germall Plus and Euxyl PE 9010, which is perfect for the pH of a tear-free shampoo. 


1. Iselux® Ultra Mild

This is a concentrated surfactant blend developed for use in cleanser applications where an ultra-mild formulation is desired. It is an optimized blend designed for ease of use and cold processing in cleanser formulas. This concentrate only requires the addition of water for dilution, desired actives, fragrance and conditioning polymers and electrolyte and/or pH adjustment for desired viscosity in order to develop a stable finished formulation. Breakthrough high-foaming ultra mild blend for baby cleansers, sensitive-skin facial wash, intimate cleansers, etc. No tears and no eye irritation blend which is also mild on the skin.

Usage rate : 25 -30%

Active Matter/Solids : 41-43% 

INCI : Aqua (and) Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate (and) Cocamidopropyl Betaine (and) Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate (and) Lauryl Glucoside (and) Coco-Glucoside

Solubility : Soluble in water

pH (2% Solution) : 6-7 (as-is) 

Viscosity : can be adjusted with pH and/or electrolyte.

2.    Liquid Germall Plus

Liquid Germall Plus is used as a preservative in cosmetic formulations such as lotions, conditioners, shampoos, creams, body washes, body sprays, and other surfactant-based products. It is water-soluble, one of the most effective antimicrobials, and inhibits the growth of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, yeasts, and molds.

Usage rate : 0.1-0.5%

INCI : Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

Other tradenames : A2 Plus Liquid, SupGuard® GM-BP, Saliplus Liquid

3.    Fragrance Oil

In general, surfactants are effective as essential oil and


fragrance solubilizers. The solubility, however, varies according to the fragrance oils and surfactants you choose. Because Iselux Ultra Mild is used as the surfactant in this formula, the solubility of fragrance oils differs from one to another.

Iselux Ultra Mild will not be able to solubilize and give a clear product for all kinds of fragrance oils, and you will end up with a cloudy or hazy product. So, always make a small sample to test the solubility of your FO when using Iselux Ultra Mild when clarity is your goal.


The solubility of fragrance oils mainly depends on several factors,

  • The types of surfactants used. Sulfates are typically stronger solubilizers.
  • The fragrance oil/essential oils used. Solubility varies from one oil to another.
  • The amount of surfactants and FO/EO used. Too little surfactant and too much FO will not produce a clear product.


tear-free shampoo, bespoke formula


Step 1

First, weigh Phase A in a container.

Step 2

Next, weight Phase B in a separate container. Ensure that the fragrance oil is well mixed with the surfactant.

Step 3

Then, combine Phase A and Phase B and mix well.

Step 4

Check the pH and adjust if necessary.

Step 5

Finally, add the preservative into Phase AB and stir well. Check the pH again and adjust if needed.

Step 6

Pour your shampoo into a suitable container.

You can also watch the video on how to make this formula here.

Tear-free shampoo, bespoke formula

Unlike the unscented, tear-free shampoo, this shampoo is slightly less viscous. This is due to the fragrance used in the formula. When working with surfactants, adding fragrance to your shampoo, the mixture can change from viscous to slightly less viscous or water thin or even make it thicker! The viscosity and clarity varies depending on the fragrance and amount used in the formula. Typically, the type of fragrance and the amount you use will determine the viscosity and clarity of your shampoo. Again, always test by making a small batch size first before trying to make a large batch.

The one on the left was made using Herbal Essence FO (0.5%) from Bramble Berry. This FO made the shampoo thicker than the Energy FO. It is unfortunate that they have discontinued this Herbal Essence FO and recently sold out. I managed to get the last remaining stock, as I love the nostalgic Herbal Essence scent.

Finally, make sure that the fragrance oil you used is safe for personal care products.

Don't forget to look out for our next post on more formulas.

Happy learning!