Cocamidopropyl Betaine


Cleansing Agent

No known benefits

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

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated