Sucrose Cocoate at a Glance
- Made from coconut acid but may also be synthetic
- Used as a gentle surfactant, emulsifier, and emollient
- Improves foaming aesthetic when added to cleansers
- Improves texture and spreadability of creams and lotions
Sucrose Cocoate Description
Sucrose cocoate is made by combining sugar esters from coconut acid (fatty acids from coconut oil) to create a mild surfactant that also serves as an emulsifier and skin-softening emollient. Although it is usually derived from coconut, synthetic forms also exist.
This liquid ingredient is water-loving and has a thick texture that’s relatively easy to incorporate into different types of skin care formulas, both leave-on and rinse-off varieties.
Amounts between 2–4% are used as a cleansing agent or to increase foam density, while amounts between 3–5% may be used as emulsifiers and thickening agents in leave-on products. Much lower amounts (well below 1%) are sometimes used in blends, where they serve to keep key ingredients from separating and improve penetration into skin.
Sucrose cocoate is considered gentle enough to use in baby care products such as shampoos and lotions, and its safety as used in cosmetics has been established for concentrations as high as 20.6%.
Sucrose Cocoate References
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, January 2003, pages 195–203
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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!