sodium cocoyl isethionate

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

Learn all about sodium cocoyl isethionate, including how it's made, and why Puracy uses sodium cocoyl isethionate in our products.
Stearic Acid Reading Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate 2 minutes Next Cellulase
  • Derived from: coconut
  • Pronunciation: (\ˈsō-dē-əm\ \ˈkō-(ˌ)kō-yul\ \īs-i-ˈthī-ə-ˌnāt\)
  • Type: Naturally-derived

What Is Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate?

Sodium cocoyl isethionate is a fine white powder derived from the fatty acids in coconut oil and isethionic acid, a type of sulfonic acid.[1,2] Coconuts grow on cocos nucifera trees and are widely cultivated [3,4] to produce food, fibers, building materials, and natural ingredients.[5,6]

How Is Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate Made?

Sodium cocoyl isethionate is made by reacting sodium isethionate with the fatty acid from coconut oil or other chlorides.[10] Next, the mixture is heated to remove water and then distilled to remove excess fatty acids.[11]

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate Uses

Sodium cocoyl isethionate is a surfactant that allows water, oil and dirt to mix, allowing things to become cleaner.[7] It can be found in dozens of personal care products such as shampoo, facial cleanser, bar soaps, conditioners, and hair styling products.[8,9]

Is Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate Safe?

The Cosmetics Ingredient Review has deemed the ingredient safe for use in cosmetic products when formulated to be non irritating.[12] Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[13] Clinical research has shown that the ingredient is typically not a skin irritant or sensitizer.[14,15,16]


[1] Environmental Working Group
[3] Pennsylvania State University
[5] University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources
[6] U.S. National Plant Germplasm System
[10] Personal Care Council
[11] Walele, I. and Sayed, S. "Fatty acid esters of hydroxyalkyl sulfonate salts and process for producing same"
[8] Environmental Working Group
[9] Personal Care Council
[12] Personal Care Council
[13] Whole Foods Market
[14] Andersen F.A. (ed.). “Final Report on the Safety Assessment on Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate.” Journal of the American College of Toxicology. 1993;12(5):459- 479
[15] Tupker R.A., Bunte E.E., Fidler V., Wiechers J.W., and Coenraads P.J. “Irritancy ranking of anionic detergents using onetime occlusive, repeated occlusive and repeated open tests.” Contact Dermatitis. 1999;40:316-322
[16] Bárány E., Lindberg M., and Lodén M. “Biophysical characterization of skin damage and recovery after exposure to different surfactants.” Contact Dermatitis. 1999;40:98-103

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