26 April 2009

Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB)

Today I got a flyer from a local well known grocery store advertising how they now had natural and earth friendly products. I was intrigued and so I checked to see if there were any personal care products. They listed one company with Natural Shampoo, Conditioner or Soap. This was good, natural is going mainstream. I checked the website of the manufacturer and looked up the ingredients. They said that their shampoo was a:NEW AND IMPROVED FORMULA - 99.9% Naturalthen they listed the ingredients and for the second listed, I was surprised to find:
COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE (FROM PLANT SOURCE)But, this is not a natural product at all. So, how they can claim the 99.9% natural moniker, I have no idea. More greenwashing at best, purposefully misleading at worse. Oh sure it is made from coconut oil which is natural, but they neglect to tell you what they do to the coconut oil.

To make cocamidopropyl betaine one reacts coconut oil with 3-dimethylaminoproplylamine (DMAPA) producing cocamidopropyl dimethylamine, which is then allowed to react with sodium monochloroacetate to get CAPB (cocamidopropyl betaine). CAPB can still contain varyng amounts of the initial reactants and intermediate chemicals, including amidoamine a known allergen. Natural? You decide.

CAPB is an obvious contributor to contact dermatitis and thus in addition to the fact that it is not natural, should be avoided if one is looking for natural products, in my opinion.


Foti C, Bonamonte D, Mascolo G, Corcelli A, Lobasso S, Rigano L, Angelini G. The role of 3-dimethylaminopropylamine and amidoamine in contact allergy to cocamidopropylbetaine. Contact Dermatitis. 2003 Apr;48(4):194-8. PMID 12786723

Fowler JF Jr, Zug KM, Taylor JS, Storrs FJ, Sherertz EA, Sasseville DA, Rietschel RL, Pratt MD, Mathias CG, Marks JG, Maibach HI, Fransway AF, Deleo VA, Belsito DV. Allergy to cocamidopropyl betaine and amidoamine in North America. Dermatitis. 2004 Mar;15(1):5-6. PMID 15573641


Tharinda said...

According to my recent Patch test I'm allergic to COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE & Oleamidopropyl Betaine. Does anyone know a shampoo without CAPB? I checked the entire shampoo isle at walgreens but no luck.

Other names you may see this chemical listed as:
Tegobetaine L7, Cocoyl amide propyldimethyl glycine, Coconut oil amidopropyl betaine, N-cocamidoprpyl-N,N-dimethlglycine hydroxide inner salt

By the way, if you are allergic to CAPB you are most probably allergic all or most of the following chemicals too.

1-Propanaminium, N-(carboxymethyl)-N,N-dimethyl-3-((1-oxococonut)amino)-, hydroxide, inner salt
N-(2-Aminoethyl)-N-(2-(2-carboxyethoxy)ethyl) beta-alanine, norcoco acyl derivs., disodium salts
N-(Carboxymethyl)-N,N-dimethyl-3-((1-oxococonut)amino)-1-propanam- inium hydroxide, inner salt
Quaternary ammonium compounds, (carboxymethyl)(3cocoamidopropyl)dimethyl, hydroxides, inner salts
beta-Alanine, N-(2-aminoethyl)-N-(2-(2-carboxyethoxy)ethyl)-, norcoco acyl derivs., disodium salts
Cocamidopropyl betaine
Cocamidopropyl dimethyl glycine
Cocoyl amide propylbetaine
Disodium cocoamphodipropionate
Mirataine CB

Evita said...

Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic!

I regularly research natural personal care products and something just didn't strike me as right with the shampoo I was trying that had this ingredient second on the list.

It left my hair feeling horrible to say the least.

It is indeed disappointing that too many companies still choose to work so backwards when it comes to natural products. One could say, even in such a deceitful way, but not going to go there.

The good news is better products are available and as long as a consumer is willing to do just a little bit of research - excellent, natural products can be found!

Nancy Fielding said...

I've been trying to learn all that I can about this ingredient (and a million others!), thank you for taking the time to post this. I also found this very interesting post on another website. They seem to have really taken the time to research these claims and might provide more info for your readers too: The Real Truth About Cocomidopropyl Betaine. Its getting so hard these days to know who to listen to, but I suppose the more we talk about it the more truth will come out. Keep talking!

Becky from UK said...

The only shampoo I know of without Cocamidopropyl Betaine in is Linco Beer shampoo... it's cheap and available on-line.
I was diagnosed as highly allergic to Cocamidopropyl today, unfortunatly I am also highly allergic to Methylchloroiso thiazolinone as well and this is in this shampoo!
I am at a complete loss as to how I am supposed to wash my hair! Grrrrrrrr!

Susannah said...

Hi there, after testing at a dermatology unit, I too (about 3 years ago)learnt I am allergic to this...I did not realise that it was in everything!!

However, I now use a shampoo that I buy from my health food store (also available online easily) made by 'Faith in Nature' and the Jojoba shampoo and conditioner are safe to use... just be careful as the other 'flavours' (?!) DO contain CAPB.... It's also a lovely shampoo.

Let me know how you get on


Anonymous said...

Free and Clear Shampoo is the product you should consider that does not have Cocomidopropyl Bentaine. You can special order Free and Clear at Target Pharmacy. Go on line to verify that the ingredients met your specific needs.

Allissa said...

I've found a product that uses no Methylchloroisothiazolinone and no
Cocamidopropyl Betaine, I also have your problem. It's two shampoos by Desert Essence Organics, one is green apple ginger, and the other is lemon tea tree. The other products in this line do contain either Cocamidopropyl Betaine or unfortunately hemp, which i am allergic too as well. Hope this helps!