Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate


Cleansing Agent

No known benefits

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate at a glance

  • A powerful anionic (water- and oil-loving) surfactant
  • Has cleansing and foaming properties
  • Often used in skin, body, hair and home care products
  • Can disrupt the skin barrier, causing dryness and sensitization

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate description

Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate is an anionic surfactant used in skin care, hair care and home good products due to its cleansing and foaming abilities. Anionic surfactants have water-loving and oil-loving polar ends, making them versatile and highly effective for use in rinse-off products such as facial and body cleansers. But...some of them can work too well, harming skin in the process. As a powerful surfactant, sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate can disrupt the skin barrier, creating an uptick in water loss from skin’s uppermost layers. Together, this can cause dryness and sensitization even from brief exposures. Overall, there are many gentler cleansing agents to choose from when formulating a skin care product, so we generally advise avoiding this one if it’s among the primary surfactants in a face wash or shampoo. While not recommended as a primary surfactant in skin care products, sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate can be used at low concentrations in combination with milder surfactants to boost the foaming capacity of the finished product.

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate references

  • International Journal of Toxicology, December 2023, pages 104S-106S
  • International Journal of Toxicology, October 1998, issue 5, pages 39-65

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

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.