What is BTMS 50 ? Is BTMS 50 vegan ? – 10 FAQ

October 4, 2020
what is btms 50

What is BTMS 50 ?

BTMS-50 is an emulsifying wax. It is most often used in conditioners because it leaves behind hair that is soft, silky, and easy to comb.

The first part of the name is an abbreviation for the INCI name: behentrimonium methosulfate. The 50 in the second part of the name comes from the fact that only 50% of it is active. The other half is made up of cetyl alcohol and butylene glycol.

Is BTMS 50 vegan ?

BTMS 50 has two parts one as discussed above behentrimonium methosulfate is active and the other part is cetyl alcohol and butylene glycol is the stabiliser . The name ‘cetyl’ references the fact that it was originally found in whales, the Latin word for which is ‘Cetus.’

However in now a days cetyl alcohol can be made from palm or coconut or sometime from petroleum making it a vegan ingredient.

It is a natural product made from vegetable oils and is easy to work with. It can be used as the sole active ingredient in a product or in tandem with other emulsifying agents.

What molecular structure of  BTMS 50 ?

Under the current IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) naming conventions, BTMS-50 is also known as docosyl(trimethyl)azanium; methyl sulfate.

The first part of the name indicates that there is a chain of twenty-three carbons that are single bonded in one unbranched line. This in turn is attached to the positively charged azanium ion. The common name for azanium is ammonium. The azanium ion consists of a single nitrogen atom with a plus one positive charge that is bonded to three hydrogens.

The next part, methyl sulfate, is a sulfate ion with a methyl (single carbon) attached to it. The sulfate is an anion, which makes it negatively charged. The sulfate’s negative charge is attracted to the azanium’s positive one, bonding them ionically.

What are the inactive ingredients of BTMS 50 ?

BTMS-50 is not a pure active ingredient. Instead, it contains half  behentrimonium methosulfate and half stabilizing agents. These two inactive ingredients are cetyl alcohol and butylene glycol. Cetyl alcohol was originally derived from sperm whale oil. However, it is now produced using palm oil.

It consists of a chain of sixteen carbons with a hydroxyl group on the end. The name ‘cetyl’ references the fact that it was originally found in whales, the Latin word for which is ‘cetus.’ Butylene glycol or butane-1,3-diol is a water-soluble alcohol with four carbons and two hydroxyl or alcohol groups.

What are physical properties of BTMS 50 ?

BTMS-50 is a white, waxy substance at room temperature. It melts at 60º C (140º F). It is an organic (carbon based) compound and therefore only soluble in oil.

In the final product, the pH ranges from 5.0 to 7.0, so it is safe for skin and hair. In its unaltered form, it has a distinct odor that has been described as fishlike. However, this odor is not noticeable in products with concentrations of up to 15%. It can be purchased in the form of small pellets, beads, or flakes.

Uses of BTMS 50

In the beauty industry, BTMS-50 is primarily used for shampoos and conditioners due to its ability to leave hair soft and silky, reduce flyaways, and add spring all without causing irritation.

This is due to the fact that it is an adsorbent, which means that it creates a thin coating on top of skin and hair – the property most desirable in hair conditioners.

It can be used in rinse-off and leave-on products. When used in skincare products, it resists wash off. Instead, it leaves behind a soft powdery feel.

Though it is insoluble in water, it is also used as an emulsifying agent in scrubs and lotions. Emulsifiers help blend the water and oil based ingredients so they don’t separate in transport or before use. BTSM-50 is also sometimes used to emulsify silicon in hair conditioners.

This property helps keep conditioners and other products smooth and creamy instead of separating.

In lotions, it can be used to increase viscosity. This prevents the lotion from becoming runny or watery. It can also be used in anhydrous systems – products that do not contain water or that are oil-based.

Another use of this substance is in detanglers. It is very good at detangling hair without damaging it. In most products, it is used at a rate of one to ten percent. Because it is not water soluble, it must be added in the heated oil phase.

How it BTMS 50 manufactured?

BTMS-50 is made from the oil of the colva plant, which is more commonly known as rapeseed. It is taken in the form of a quaternary salt of ammonium. The term ‘quaternary’ as it is used here refers to the fact that the nitrogen in the ammonium is surrounded by four carbon chains.

 Quaternary ammoniums are also sometimes referred to as ‘quaternary amines.’ The term salt doesn’t mean table salt but an ionic compound consisting of positively and negatively charged molecules.

what is btms 50
2 Types of BTMS 50
BTMS 50 Substitutes

In the event that you do not have any BTMS-50, there are many substitutions available.

Keep in mind that substitutes may not achieve the same level of effect that BTMS-50 does.

BTMS-25 has the same active ingredient, but a lesser percentage of it is active.

BTMC (behentrimonium chloride) is similar, but contains no stabilizing agents and is not as soft on the skin.

Other substitutes like Emulsense HC or Varisoft EQ 65 have a very narrow range of pH.

Emulsifying agents that are not cations/positively charged will not condition hair at all and should be avoided in hair products.

How to store BTMS 50 ?

BTSM-50 should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place inside of a tightly closed

container. In this condition, it will keep for up to two years as it is very shelf stable. If stored at temperatures above 32º Celsius (90º Fahrenheit) it will coagulate.

Is BTMS 50 Safe ?

If it comes into prolonged contact with skin in its pure form (not mixed with other ingredients) it can cause irritation.

If any gets in the eyes, immediately rinse with water for fifteen minutes after removing contacts as prolonged exposure can cause eye damage.

In the event that irritation persists, seek medical attention. It has a flash point over 200º C. In some cases, it may float on water and should therefore be treated as a grease fire.

 If ingested, do not induce vomiting. Instead, seek medical attention immediately.

Always read the MSDS (Manufacturer’s safety data sheet) before working with chemicals that you are unfamiliar with.

Where to buy BTMS 50 ?

You can buy BTMS 50 online here –

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Watch me making products with BTMS 50

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  • Reply
    Himabindu Jagdish
    October 4, 2020 at 9:19 am

    Very Nice topic Aarti.. Beautifully written. Could you also write on why BTMS smells like fish actually… That gives a concern if it is a Vegan or not. Though many suppliers say it is vegan.

  • Reply
    October 4, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Enjoyed reading this very informative thanks!

  • Reply
    Monika Soota
    October 4, 2020 at 10:21 am

    Thank you for writing this simple to understand article.

  • Reply
    October 4, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Awesome post much needed knowledge thank you for sharing this post it means alot

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