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Works as a surfactant, foaming agent, viscocity increasing agent, emulsifier and conditioner. As a surfactant, it's mostly used in bath products because it gently cleanses the skin/hair by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed off. On top of that, its pH range contributes a mild germicidal effect, which also makes it an effective, yet mild, cleansing agent for personal sanitary products.
It emulsifies and thickens certain cosmetic formulations, reducing the potential irritation caused by other cleansing ingredients contained in the product. In addition, it produces a fatty layer on the hair that gets rid of static and provides emollience and manageability. Because of its well known foaming and moisturizing capabilities, and the fact that its compatible with all types of surfactants (anionic, nonionic & cationic), it's used in a variety of bath, body & hair products. You can find this ingredient in shampoo, body wash, hair dye, cleanser, deodorant, liquid hand soap, bubble bath, anti-dandruff treatment, exfoliant/scrub, acne treatment and conditioner.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
This ingredient is generally regarded as a mild and safe ingredient, and for this reason is replacing Cocamide DEA more and more. However, it has been shown to cause allergic reactions in some individuals. This is most likely a result of the manufacturing byproducts amidoamine and dimethylaminopropylamine, two impurities commonly associated with skin sensitization and irritation. However, studies have shown that coco-betaine's potential for dermal allergies and irritation can be avoided if the byproducts are low and tightly controlled.
Recommended Products w/ coco-betaine:
Adorage Cleansing Formula ($47), Abrione Hydrodynamic Facial Masque ($22), Kinerase Clear Skin Regulating Mask ($55)