Is Cocamidopropyl Betaine CAPB Toxic? What Is It and How To Avoid It?

Cocamidopropyl betaine CAPB is widely used today. CAPB, an amphoteric synthetic detergent, has become increasingly utilized in cosmetics and personal hygiene products, including shampoos, contact lens solutions, toothpastes, cosmetics removers, bath gels, skin care products, cleansers, antiseptics, household cleaning products, such as dish soap, laundry detergent, and fabric softener.

Cocamidopropyl betaine has been linked to delayed type IV hypersensitivity reactions as well as contact sensitization in the percentile values of 3.0 to 7.2%, with contact sensitization thought to be caused by its impurities, such as amidoamine and dimethylaminopropylamine. CAPB is a known allergen and was named allergen of the year in 2004 as a result of increasing sensitivity rates.

We are tackling this chemical to bring awareness to you and your loved ones. Recent research suggests that this ingredient may cause series health problems including: cancer and other health conditions.


What is Cocamidopropyl Betaine? 

Cocamidopropyl betaine is a chemical compound commonly used as an emulsifying agent in cosmetics and personal care products because it helps keep ingredients suspended in an aqueous solution. This allows ingredients to remain stable and prevent separation. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified cocamidopropyl betaine as generally recognized as safe (GRAS). However, there are some health concerns regarding the safety of using this ingredient in cosmetic products. In fact, the FDA has issued warnings against the use of cocamidopropyl betaine in skin creams due to potential health risks associated with exposure. 

Cocamidopropyl betaine is a fatty acid derivative that belongs to the class of surfactants. Surfactants are used in many personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, and moisturizers. These ingredients help to keep hair soft and manageable while providing protection from water loss.

Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified cocamidopropyl betaine as a generally safe chemical, there have been some reports of strong allergic reactions associated with the use of cocamidopropyl betaine, including: skin rashes, hives, in addition to other allergic concerns. If you suspect that you have experienced a reaction after using a product containing cocamidopropyl betaine, then please contact your trusted medical provider immediately.


Why Should You Care About Cocamidopropyl Betaine (and other preservatives) ?

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the safety of certain chemicals found in consumer products, especially skin care products. One such chemical is the topic of this article – cocamidopropyl betaine, which is often added to personal skin care and beauty products to help preserve the product and make it last longer. However, some industry experts believe that cocamidopropy betaine should come with a warning, due to strong concerns that cocamidopropyl betaine might cause cancer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require manufacturers to disclose what ingredients go into their products, making it difficult to know exactly what is in them.

Some industry experts say that cocamidopropyl betaine could be harmful because it contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Others argue that the amount of formaldehyde in cocamidopropyl betaine is too low to pose a risk. Still others say that the FDA should ban the use of cocamidopropyl betaine altogether. 

Although cocamidopropyl betaine is generally considered safe according to the FDA, there are heightened concerns about its safety, and its affect on your long term health. Studies suggest that it could be linked to cancer, asthma, and allergies. However, the Food and Drug Administration does not consider it to be harmful at current levels. 

Although, there are looming healthy concerns regarding cocamidopropyl betaine – according to the FDA, there are no known health risks associated with consuming “low levels” of cocamidopropyl betaine, high doses can cause gastrointestinal distress. 


What Are The Risks Of Using Cocamidopropyl Betaine and Other Cosmetic Ingredients? 

In spite of strong health concerns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cites that cocamidopropyl betaine is safe when used at low levels in cosmetics. However, the FDA warns consumers not to use any products containing more than 0.1% of the ingredient because higher amounts can cause irritation and allergic reactions.

Cosmetic companies often add cocamidopropyl betaine to moisturizers and other skin care products to help them spread easily across the skin. Even with the FDA’s approval of cocamidopropyl betaine for usage in cosmetic products, the agency cautions as a warning against using the ingredient if you have sensitive skin, eczema, or dermatitis. This should elevate any health concern that you may have already had about cocamidopropyl betaine.

If you suffer from dry, flaky skin, you might be tempted to reach for a bottle of moisturizer that contains cocamidopropyl betaine. Unfortunately, this common ingredient can cause skin irritation and inflammation in some people, so consider a natural appraoch for your skin care needs. We offer a variety of healthy ingredients to combat inflammation and help with your skin healing journey.

Some dermatologists recommend avoiding products that contain cocamidopropyl betaine altogether. However, if you want to use a product that includes CAPB, there are ways to minimize the risk of developing an allergy. For example, you could try using a milder version of the product, or you could switch to a different type of moisturizer. We offer an entire line of natural skin care with no cocamidopropyl betaine for your consideration.


How Can I Tell If My Product Contains Cocamidopropyl Betaine?

There are several ways to tell if your product contains cocamidopropyl betaine. You can check the ingredients list on the label, or contact the manufacturer directly. In addition, there are online tools available that will help you determine whether your product contains the ingredient. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of: cocamide diethanolamine (CDEA), cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB), and cocoamidopropyl hydroxysultaine (CAHS) as cosmetic ingredients. However, the FDA does not regulate the use of other ingredients such as cocamide monoethanolamine (CMME), cocamidopropyldimethylamine propionate (CMDAP), and cocoamidoethylpropanediol (CEPD). Therefore, it is important to be aware of what products contain these ingredients. 

In order to determine if your product contains one of these ingredients, you must first know what they look like. CDEA is a clear liquid that has a faint odor similar to ammonia. CAPB is a colorless oil that has a strong odor similar to fish. CMDMA is a colorless oily liquid that smells like soap. 

If you see any of these ingredients listed, then you should be concerned. However, there are other ways to identify them. For the science nerds – you could use a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS) to test your products. A GCMS is a machine that uses a chemical detector to analyze the composition of a sample. 


Helpful Tips

Cocamidopropyl betaine has a strong health concern and should be avoided if possible. We recommend all natural, organic skin care, including hair care and deodorant. We can offer you are personalized recommendation for your individual needs if you prefer. Just drop us a line on our contact us page, and we will be happy to help. Have a wonderful, healthy day!


Information Disclaimer: The following statements are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the FDA. We encourage you to speak with your preferred medical advisor to determine if this information is right for you. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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