• Derived from: coconut
  • Pronunciation: (Coca mydo \ˈprō-pəl\ \ˈbē-tə-ˌēn\)
  • Type: Naturally-derived
  • Other names: CAPB

What Is Cocamidopropyl Betaine?

Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a fatty acid derived from coconut oil.[1] It is widely considered to be an excellent renewable substitute for surfactants.

The Cocamidopropyl Betaine Production Process

Cocamidopropyl betaine manufacturing typically requires two steps: First, coconut oil (or coconut fatty acids) are reacted with dimethylaminopropylamine, which results in a predominant lauric acid makeup. Next, this solution is reacted with sodium monochloroacetate.[2]

Cocamidopropyl Betaine Uses

Cocamidopropyl betaine is growing in popularity in personal care products, from liquid soaps to body washes to shampoos. CAPB is commonly used as an anti-static agent and sulfate-free surfactant in products such as surface cleaners, dish soaps, and liquid detergents. [4,5]

Why Puracy Uses Cocamidopropyl Betaine

We use cocamidopropyl betaine as a cleansing agent in both of our natural laundry detergents as well as our Natural Pet Shampoo. An excellent stain removing agent, it is also fully rinsed away during a normal washing machine cycle.

Is Cocamidopropyl Betaine Safe?

Due to rare dermatological reactions[4,8], we do not use cocamidopropyl betaine in formulations that come directly into contact with human skin. However, studies show that contact dermatitis occurs due to impurities occurring from lower-quality manufacturing: 3-dimethylaminopropylamine (DMAPA) and aminoamide. [5,7]

Note: Higher-grade CAPB – like the one used by Puracy – rarely contains these impurities.

Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its cleaning products quality standards as a surfactant.[6]. Further research shows the ingredient is not a skin irritant or sensitizer when used in solutions below 1%.[8,9,10]

Certifications

Sources

[1] Gholami A, Golestaneh M, Andalib Z. A new method for determination of cocamidopropyl betaine synthesized from coconut oil through spectral shift of Eriochrome Black T. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2018 Mar 5;192:122-127. doi: 10.1016/j.saa.2017.11.007. Epub 2017 Nov 10. PMID: 29128745.
[2] Human and Environmental Risk Assessment
[3] Cosmeticsinfo.org
[4] Healthline
[5] Jacob SE, Amini S. Cocamidopropyl betaine. Dermatitis. 2008 May-Jun;19(3):157-60. PMID: 18627690.
[6] Whole Foods Body Care Ingredients Standards
[7] Environmental Working Group
[8] Schnuch, Al, et al., “Is cocamidopropyl betaine a contact allergen? Analysis of network data and short review of the literature.” Contact Dermatitis. 2011 Apr;64(4):203-11
[9] Corazza, M., et al., “Irritant and sensitizing potential of eight surfactants commonly used in skin cleansers: an evaluation of 105 patients.” Dermatitis 2010 Sep-Oct;21(5):262-8
[10] McFadden, J.P., et al., “Clinical allergy to cocamidopropyl betaine: reactivity to cocamidopropylamine and lack of reactivity to 3-dimethylaminopropylamine.” Contact Dermatitis 2001 Aug;45(2):72-4

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