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Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a mixture of closely related organic compounds derived from coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. CAPB is available as a viscous pale yellow solution and it is used as a surfactant in personal care products. The name reflects that the major part of the molecule, the lauric acid group, is derived from coconut oil. Cocamidopropyl betaine to a significant degree has replaced cocamide DEA.
Cocamidopropyl betaine is used as a foam booster in shampoos. It is a medium strength surfactant also used in bath products like hand soaps. It is also used in cosmetics as an emulsifying agent and thickener, and to reduce irritation purely ionic surfactants would cause. It also serves as an antistatic agent in hair conditioners, which most often does not irritate skin or mucous membranes. However, some studies indicate it is an allergen.
CAPB is obtained as an aqueous solution in concentrations of about 30%.