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Cocamidopropyl Betaine in skincare

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

Cocamidopropyl betaine

Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB, CAB-35) is an amphoteric surfactant that comes from coconut oil. It has excellent cleaning, foaming and toning effect, compatibility with anionic, cationic, and nonionic surfactants.

Some surfactants are harsher on the skin, but Cocamidopropyl betaine

can lower the irritation of other surfactants, also When it is combined with anionic surfactants to make shampoo, it shows a good thickening effect.

Therefore, Cocamidopropyl Betaine is becoming more and more popular, and it has gradually become an essential amphoteric surfactant.

1. Structural characteristics

The amide group (-CONH-) changes the properties of the molecule, giving it better foam stability and mildness. It also has the effect of increasing viscosity in the formulation. Besides, it has better foaming properties and can maintain foaming even in the small amount of soap and grease.

Quaternary ammonium groups can provide direct antibacterial and bactericidal effects, and it bearly affected by changes in pH.

(----) Inhibit growth

0.25 ~ 10% of the actives of Cocamidopropyl Betaine can inhibit Gram-positive bacteria, and 2 ~ 10% can inhibit mold.

The carboxyl group is hydrophilic. The chain length of a hydrophobic alkyl group has a significant influence on its performance. When it contains 12~16 carbon chains, its foam stability, thickening effects are the best and have excellent emollient, conditioning properties. CAPB mainly carbon chains are C12 ~ C14, so CAPB has unique and outstanding features that other surfactants do not have because of its molecular structure.

2.Thickening and conditioning

In shampoo formulations, Cocamidopropyl Betaine synergistically with other surfactants shows a noticeable thickening and conditioning effect. When mixed with anionic surfactants

active content at 10% ~ 30% to obtain high viscosity, and the thickness will decrease with the increase of pH value. Its superior conditioning performance enhances the softness of the skin and hair, and can also effectively reduce the coefficient of friction between fibers to produce an excellent softening effect. Not only does the fabric have hydrophobic properties, but it also has noticeable antistatic effects.


A prominent feature of Cocamidopropyl Betaine is its high safety and no allergic reaction to the human body. Cocamidopropyl Betaine is an internal quaternary ammonium compound similar to the amino acid zwitterion, and its structure is similar to protein. It has minimal irritation to the skin and hair, especially eyes ( cornea). It also can effectively reduce the alkyl sulfate and Alkyl sulfate Alkyl alcohol ether sulfate irritation in baby care products.

4.Cocamidopropyl Betaine Foamability

This product can increase the foam height of anionic, nonionic surfactant and make the foam stable.

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