The Hair & Skin Care Benefits of BTMS-50
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen the words BTMS-50 or Behentrimonium Methosulfate somewhere on the ingredient list of your favorite conditioner (perhaps on our best-selling (Spin)Therapy?). You’re also probably scratching your head thinking that a bundle of single letter words and number doesn’t sound very natural, so what the heck is it?
Is Behentrimonium Methosulfate a Sulfate?
No. Behentrimonium Methosulfate is NOT a sulfate. BTMS-50, also known as Behentrimonium Methosulfate, is a conditioning emulsifier found in many high-quality conditioners and moisturizers. When you read Behentrimonium Methosulfate at first glance, you might think “did you just say sulfate???” And if that’s your thought process, you’re not alone in your thinking because that was mine, too. But after doing some digging and growing familiar with effective ingredients for dry hair and skin, you’ll learn that BTMS-50 is not actually a sulfate.
While Behentrimonium Methosulfate (BTMS-50) shares a similar last name to the sulfates you’ve heard to stay away from, it’s actually a vegetable-based quaternary ammonium salt derived from rapeseed oil. Rapeseed is a yellow flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard and produces a light carrier oil with a similar consistency as canola oil. BTMS-50 is one of the gentlest known conditioning agents out there with a slew of moisturizing benefits for hair and skin.
The Benefits of BTMS-50 for hair and skin:
Provides intensive moisture to dry hair and skin
Penetrates hair shaft to hydrate from inside out
Acts as a thickener for thinning, brittle hair
Provides slip and detangling properties for course, dry hair
Does not coat the hair or cause product build up
The only red flag about BTMS-50 has nothing to do with what it’s made out of, it’s chemical make up, how it reacts with other ingredients, or it’s effectiveness on hair and skin. The only red flag about Behentrimonium Methosulfate is simply its name. Because of the second half of its name ‘Methosulate,’ BTMS-50 is often confused with sulfates which are drying and damaging to hair and skin.
What’s the Difference Between BTMS-50 and Sulfates?
The difference between BTMS-50 and sulfates are that sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) are strong cleansing agents, also known as detergents (similar to dish soap) that strip the hair and skin’s moisture barrier of its natural oils. Sulfates such as SLS, SLES, and ALS are known irritants for scalp and skin and are overly drying, leading to excessively dry and potentially damaged hair after prolonged use.
Behentrimonium Methosulfate is not a cleansing detergent or drying agent. It’s rather a conditioning agent that provides intensive slip and moisture to hair and skin. BTMS-50 is so gentle and effective, it is often used in baby leave-on conditioners and baby products.
While it’s full name may sound intimidating and maybe even concerning, the truth is, BTMS-50 is one of the best-known, gentlest conditioners specifically for dry hair.