October 29, 2015

Is Cocamidopropyl Betaine Safe?

If you’re paying attention to the ingredients in your shower, hair, and skin care products, you may be wondering whether cocamidopropyl betaine is safe.


What is Cocamidopropyl Betaine?

Cocamidopropyl betaine is a chemical used in products like shampoo, toothpaste, and body wash.  It is derived from coconuts, and its primary purpose is to make your product foamy.

Although the government considers this ingredient safe, that are some concerns over its presence in your personal care products.


Is Cocamidopropyl Betaine Safe: Dangers and Concerns

  • Allergic reactions.  Cocamidopropyl betaine can cause allergic reactions in some people, resulting in irritated skin and rashes.
  • Eye irritation.  Because this is an ingredient commonly used in shampoos, it can easily get into the eyes and cause eye irritation.
  • Other skin discomfort.  Products containing cocamidopropyl betaine can cause other skin discomforts like itching and burning.
  • Contamination concerns.  The biggest danger of using a product with cocamidopropyl betaine is its potential contamination with nitrosamines.

Nitrosamines are created when nitrosating agents are combined with amines.

Risks: NDELA is the specific nitrosamine “to which human exposure is the greatest” since it occurs in cosmetics and is “absorbed readily through the skin” (Carcinogenesis 1985, National Cancer Institute).  Nitrosamines have been identified as one of the most potent classes of carcinogens, having caused cancer in more than 40 different animal species as well as in humans.


The Best Way to Avoid Cocamidopropyl Betaine and Other Toxins

The best way to avoid chemicals that are potentially irritating or even toxic is to go certified organic.  The highest standards for organic products are set by the FDA and the ACO.  Using a product with NO SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS whatsoever ensures that there are no chemical toxins in your products.

It’s as simple as that.


save on organic products







I am a Ph.D. candidate at McMaster University, a twin mommy, and a health and wellness entrepreneur. I am in the process of building a sustainable online business to support my family, and helping others to build sustainable businesses themselves. Find me on Google+.

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