Categories: Cleansing Agent, Texture Enhancer
- 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 sensitization responses
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 sensitizing skin, although impurities resulting from poor manufacturing - and not cocamidopropyl betaine itself - increase the risk, emphasizing 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.