cocamidopropyl betaine

Cocamidopropyl Betaine at a Glance

  • Gentle cleansing ingredient used in face and body washes
  • Can be naturally derived or synthetic
  • Helps increase the lathering or foam effect in cleansers
  • Manufacturing impurities, not the ingredient itself, are the cause of sensitisation responses

Cocamidopropyl Betaine Description

Cocamidopropyl betaine is a gentle surfactant used in skin care products, mainly face and body washes, that is almost always employed as a secondary cleansing agent, sometimes referred to as a co-surfactant. When used alone as the sole cleansing agent, it is generally too mild to clean adult skin and hair but is sometimes used as the sole cleansing agent in products for children. In any rinse-off formula, it also helps increase the lather or foam effect of cleansers.

Cocamidopropyl betaine may be plant-derived (most often from coconut) or synthetic, with either form considered safe for use in cosmetic products. It is considered low risk for sensitising skin, although impurities resulting from poor manufacturing – and not cocamidopropyl betaine itself - increase the risk, emphasising the importance of selecting well-formulated skin care products.

Cocamidopropyl betaine is approved for use up to 3% in leave-on products but its concentration range for rinse-off formulas is much wider, typically between 4–40% depending on the formula’s characteristics.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine References

International Journal of Toxicology, July-August 2012, Supplement, pages 77S-111S
Contact Dermatitis, May 2012, pages 286-292 ; April 2011, pages 203-211 ; and May-June 2008, pages 157-160
Dermatitis, March 2004, Issue 15, Volume 1, pages 5-6

See surfactant

Back to Ingredient Dictionary

SHOP FOR PRODUCTS WITH COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE


DEFENSE Hydrating Gel-to-Cream Cleanser

SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser

All Over Hair & Body Shampoo

CALM Nourishing Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin

DEFENSE Hydrating Gel-to-Cream Cleanser SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser All Over Hair & Body Shampoo CALM Nourishing Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!