Skip to main content

The story behind GlucoTain®
Discover Value. Discover GlucoTain®. How should clean feel for you?

It is about time to give your hair and skin something back

Whether it’s the heat, cold, stress or UV-rays, our skin and hair are tasked daily with the most demanding job in the world: protecting us from daily cleansing routines and countless environment stressors. It’s therefore essential that we keep them in top form with effective products that are simultaneously gentle and mild. It’s the only way we can equip our skin and hair with the care it needs to care for us each and every day.

The sensory evaluation everyone can feel

GlucoTain is an innovative range of sugar-based surfactants offering sensory benefits through individual foam structures, from fluffy to rich and light to caring, in a broad range of skin and hair care products. When it comes to the sensory features of GlucoTain, our trained panel of experts is very hands on—literally: they meet on a regular basis to test products and to evaluate performance. They start with a vigorous scrub of their hands, apply some of the selected product and then note their observations. This sensory analysis ensures that the performance of our product meets the expectation of our customers.


»We have to show that our chemistry brings benefits to our customers and consumers. That’s why we supply sensory data, skin analysis and hair expertise and not just a molecule.«

Charlotte Stricane
Global Application Development Manager

Would you like some sugar? Dr. Katarzyna Kita tells the story behind glucose-based surfactants

How did the idea for GlucoTain come up?
Clariant is one of the leading companies in the production of surfactants. We design all our new products to best respond to the customer needs and taking into account our core values—we focus on performance, people and planet. The GlucoTain story started when our R&D department has used sugars as renewable raw materials to create non-ionic surfactants, which can be used in a variety of applications. In Personal Care, our goal was to deliver not only the expected cleaning performance, but also additional value for consumers, such as mildness and a sensory experience—all this while taking care of the ecological footprint. That was a considerable challenge, but we had very clear objectives, we maintained our focus, and we succeeded.

What are the core advantages in comparison to conventional surfactants?
Most surfactants currently present on the personal care market are based on sulfates or sulfonates and often contain polyethylene oxide (EO, or PEG). Sulfates are perceived as ‘aggressive’ to skin and hair, while EO may contain low amounts of toxic contaminations. GlucoTain is completely sulfate and EO-free. It is extremely mild to proteins and lipids, and furthermore an excellent solubilizer for oils and perfumes. This means that GlucoTain-containing formulations are easy to fragrance and do not require additional emulsifiers to incorporate beneficial ingredients.

How challenging is it to create skin care additives from sugar?
Experience matters, and our advantage here at Clariant is a team of excellent chemists. We were looking for alternatives to alkyl polyglycoside (APG), which is the most widely used sugar-based surfactant, but does not enable a broad product range. We developed glucamides, which combine the properties of APGs, like mild foam, but with additional benefits. First of all, they increase the formulation viscosity allowing for cost-optimization, and secondly, what sets glucamides apart are their conditioning properties, particularly relevant for skin care applications.

GlucoTain is applicable for skin and hair care products. What kind of special requirements has a surfactant to fulfill both applications?
First, it is important to know that hair care formulations (shampoo) are usually more complex than shower gel or body wash. This is because more conditioning is required for hair - to smooth hair cuticles, facilitate de-tangling and make combining easier. To achieve good shampoo performance, formulators use polymers, silicones, or oils, but those additives can compromise foam. Therefore, for both skin and hair care applications the ideal option is a mild surfactant with caring foam and conditioning after-feel —precisely such as GlucoTain.

Dr. Katarzyna Kita
Global Application Development Manager

Facts, figures and fluffiness: Glucotain®’s statistic


of global haircare shoppers
find products that feel nice on skin, hair, etc., greatly influence their opinion of health and beauty products.



billion market
volume and double-digit growth annually: The natural market in Personal Care is booming globally.



growth for mild products
in hair and skin care segments is projected
by 2017.

Clariant Image Fabio Caravieri 2020

Fabio Caravieri
Head of Marketing Segment Consumer Care

»GlucoTain is one of our most exciting launches: it will revolutionize the way we think about mild surfactants. It not only offers a new sensory sensation for the users— it will also be able to help our customers to gain market edges across personal care.«

See what GlucoTain® does or feel it, if you want


Innovative sensoric experience

No other surfactant in the market provides manufacturers of skin and hair care products with such a broad range of sensorial benefits.

- Enhanced foam range
- EO-free
- Unique GlucoTain with sensoric experience


Extremly mild to hair and skin

Especially for products intended for daily use, the demand for less harsh products has increased.

Strict environmental and oil and waterClariantIconEarth ProtectionSustainable AlternaitveEco Friendl

Sustainable alternative

The surfactant used in GlucoTain is derived from sugar. This boosts its sustainability performance, as it is biodegradable, highly renewable, has no need for ecotox-labeling and predominantly uses non-tropical biomasses.

- Biodegradable

- Bio-based raw material

- RSPO certified product

Clariant Icon Performance Bill Board 2020 10 06

No compromises regarding performance

GlucoTain comes in four innovative solutions that clean gently, provide improved thickening results and deliver stable foam.

- Outstanding cleansing

- Optimal rinsability

- Cost effective formulation

Feel the sensation of Foam

GlucoTain Plus is our passionate lathering cleanser. With its light and abundant foam, it leaves the skin with a deep clean feel and makes hair cleansing truly enjoyable. .

GlucoTain Plus works best with: Facial cleansers for oily skin, make up removers, deep cleansing shampoos for oily and greasy hair as well as anti-dandruff shampoos.
GlucoTain Plus (Capryloyl/Caproyl Methyl Glucamide (and) Lauroyl/Myristoyl Methyl Glucamide)
Origin Coconut/Palm (RSPO)
Active concentration 50%
Appearance, 25°C Liquid
Melting point, °C 18
Preservative -
pH 8.5 – 9.5
Shelf Life 24 months in original unopened packaging
ECOTAIN® Vegetable origin, 94% RCI (Renewable Carbon Index), GMO-free, RSPO certified Palm Oil, No eco-tox labeling under GHS

Feel the freedom of Flexibility

GlucoTain Flex is Clariants all-round talent for mildness in versatile solutions and supporting the development of sulfate-free and CAPB-free formulations. So it allows the formulation a wide range of product formats. With its medium creamy foam, it leaves a smooth, nourished afterfeel and provides excellent color protection. It is easy to rinse off and suits fine, damaged and colored hair and normal skin.

GlucoTain Flex works best with: Volume, anti-ageing and color protecting shampoos, showers and baths, liquid hand soaps, shaving soaps, facial cleaners and syndets.
GlucoTain Flex (Lauroyl/Myristoyl Methyl Glucamide)
Origin Coconut/Palm (RSPO)
Active concentration 35%
Appearance, 25°C Paste
Melting point, °C 32
Preservative 0.8% Sorbic Acid
pH 4.8 – 6.8
Shelf Life 24 months in original unopened packaging
ECOTAIN® Vegetable origin, 95% RCI (Renewable Carbon Index), GMO-free, RSPO certified Palm Oil, No eco-tox labeling under GHS

Feel the pleasure of Indulgence

GlucoTain Care is the most caring in Clariants surfactants family. With its rich and creamy foam with small bubbles, it still remains easy to rinse off and leaves a gently conditioned and moisturized feel. Especially suitable for dry, demanding and sensitive hair and skin.

GlucoTain Care works best with: Everyday, repair and baby shampoos, pampering facial cleansers, cream showers and bath, and caring liquid hand soaps.
GlucoTain Care (Cocoyl Methyl Glucamide)
Origin Coconut Oil
Active concentration 40%
Appearance, 25°C Paste
Melting point, °C 32
Preservative 0.6% Sorbic Acid
pH 5.0 – 7.0
Shelf Life 24 months in original unopened packaging
ECOTAIN® Vegetable origin, 95% RCI (Renewable Carbon Index), GMO-free, RSPO certified Palm Oil, No eco-tox labeling under GHS

Feel the suppleness of sunflowers

GlucoTain® Sense is a mild surfactant with refatting effects it is non-tropical sourced, based on sunflower oil and sugar.

This powerful sensory additive adds a deep caring after feel to your rinse-off formulation.
GlucoTain Sense (Sunfloweroyl Methylglucamide)
Origin High Oleic Sunflower Oil
Active concentration 52%
Appearance, 27°C Liquid
Melting point, °C -
Preservative -
pH 6.0 - 8.0
Shelf Life 24 months in original unopened packaging
ECOTAIN® Vegetable origin, 96% RCI (ISO 16128), GMO-free

Want to know more?
Let's get in touch

  • Synergen GL 5
    Synergen GL 5 is a polyglycerol ester based adjuvant with unique combination of dispersing power and proven adjuvant performance. Synergen GL 5 is derived from natural, renewable resources and carries Clariant’s EcoTain® label, supporting the crop protection market’s interest

Page summary

Summarization in progress