Updated: Feb 25
If you missed our IG Live, I discussed an ingredient that's most commonly used in commercial skin/body products: Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB)
Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a chemical compound found in many personal care and household cleaning products. CAPB is a surfactant, which means that it interacts with water, making the molecules slippery so they don’t stick together. AKA, CAPB is the ingredient that makes soap lather.
TWO WORDS: COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY.
Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic fatty acid made from Coconuts, so products that are considered “natural” can contain this chemical. Still, some products with this ingredient may cause unpleasant side effects.
...well that's alarming...
Side effects of Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Cocamidopropyl betaine allergic reaction
Some people have an allergic reaction when they use products containing CAPB. In 2004, the American Contact Dermatitis Society declared CAPB the “Allergen of the Year.”
Since then, a 2012 scientific review of studies found that it’s not the CAPB itself that causes an allergic reaction, but two impurities that are produced in the manufacturing process. The two irritants are aminoamide (AA) and 3-dimethylaminopropylamine (DMAPA). In multiple studies, when people were exposed to CAPB that did not contain these two impurities, they did not have an allergic reaction. Higher grades of CAPB that have been purified don’t contain AA and DMAPA and don’t cause allergic sensitivities.
If your skin is sensitive to products that contain CAPB, you may notice tightness, redness, or itchiness after you use the product. This kind of reaction is known as contact dermatitis. If the dermatitis is severe, you may have blisters or sores where the product came into contact with your skin.
Most of the time, an allergic skin reaction like this will heal on its own, or when you stop using the irritating product or use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.
If the rash doesn’t get better in a few days, or if it is located near your eyes or mouth, see a doctor.
Products with cocamidopropyl betaine
CAPB can be found in facial, body, and hair products like:
contact lens solutions
gynecological or anal wipes
CAPB is also a common ingredient in household spray cleaners and cleaning or disinfecting wipes.
How to tell if a product has cocamidopropyl betaine
CAPB will be listed on the ingredient label. The Environmental Working Group lists alternative names for CAPB, including:
hydroxide inner salt
In cleaning products, you may see CAPB listed as:
cocamidopropyl dimethyl glycine
The National Institute of Health maintains a Household Product Database where you can check to see if a product you use may contain CAPB.
Source credit https://www.healthline.com/health/cocamidopropyl-betaine