What Is Cocamidopropyl Betaine & Is It Safe?

Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic chemical derived from coconut oil that is used in many personal care products. The chemical is used to create thicker and foamier textured products. However, there are some concerns about toxic impurities in Cocamidopropyl betaine that make it a skin irritant to some people. Products with Cocamidopropyl betaine should be used with caution. If you notice skin irritation, discontinue use of the product.

What Products Have Cocamidopropyl Betaine In Them?

Cocamidopropyl betaine can be found in:

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Toothpaste

  • Soap

  • Detergents 

  • Body washes

Is Cocamidopropyl Betaine Safe?

Cocamidopropyl betaine may cause allergic reactions and skin sensitivity and has been suspected to be a possible environmental toxin [1,2]. The chemical is subject to impurities created during its manufacturing process that can cause adverse skin reactions [3].

Health Impacts of Cocamidopropyl Betaine Products

Cocamidopropyl betaine may cause side effects such as:

  • Contact dermatitis [4]

  • Eye irritation such as itching and pain [5]

Side effects may be worsened during pregnancy. Additionally, the likelihood of being exposed to impurities that arise during Cocamidopropyl betaine’s production is probable. 

How to Avoid Cocamidopropyl Betaine

You can avoid Cocamidopropyl betaine by:

  • Reading labels and avoiding products that contain Cocamidopropyl betaine

  • Not using products with the stem -betaine or -sultaine in their ingredients list

You can find our recommended personal care products on our Approved Products list!


[1] https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/701520-cocamidopropyl_betaine/
[2] https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Cocamidopropyl-betaine#section=GHS-Classification
[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18627690/
[4] https://www.healthline.com/health/contact-dermatitis#symptoms
[5] https://www.healthline.com/health/cocamidopropyl-betaine#products