Journal of Surfactants and Detergents

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 235–239 | Cite as

Safety to human skin of cocamidopropyl betaine: A mild surfactant for personal-care products

  • J. Edward Hunter
  • Joseph F. FowlerJr.


Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a mild surfactant used in shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and other personal-care products. Several recently published case reports have suggested that CAPB may be a skin sensitizer. A 6-wk product-use study was conducted to determine whether subjects with previous positive patch tests to CAPB could use personal-care products (prototype hair shampoo, liquid handsoap, and body wash) with this surfactant without problems. Post-study patch testing suggested that amidoamine, a material used in the synthesis of CAPB and a contaminant of CAPB preparations, is a likely sensitizer. However, patch testing did not rule out the possibility that CAPB itself may be an allergen to a small number of presensitized individuals. It is recommended that CAPB with minimal levels of contamination be used for the formulation of personal-care products.

Key words

Amidoamine cocamidopropyl betaine dimethylaminopropylamine patch testing personal-care products product use testing skin allergy skin safety surfactant 


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Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Procter & Gamble Co.Sharon Woods Technical CenterCincinnati
  2. 2.Family & Occupational Dermatology, Inc.Louisville

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