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Cocamidopropylbetaine In More Products Than I Thought

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post regarding a study that says if you suffer from atopic dermatitis, you should avoid the synthetic surfactant, cocamidopropylbetaine.

While browsing for baby wipes free of methylsiothiazolinone (you'll see that list shortly), I came across cocamidopropylbetaine in a particular brand of baby wipes. I was surprised to see the ingredient in baby wipes (especially after looking through ingredient lists for at least 8 different wipe brands and not seeing it in any of them). This prompted me to search the Environmental Working Group's (or EWG's) Skin Deep database. If this ingredient can be found in baby wipes, I wanted to see how many other products it can be found in.

A Comment About Using The Skin Deep Database

One thing I found while searching ingredients in the skin deep database is you have to type the ingredient in multiple ways, otherwise you risk not finding results or finding limited results.  So when I searched for cocamidopropylbetaine (typed as such, no space), it wasn't listed. However, I remember finding the baby wipe brand listed on Skin Deep and decided to search under the product category to find the brand. Then I could check the way the ingredient is indexed on the skin deep site. Am I making sense or did I lose you?

Ultimately, the way I found it indexed is 'Cocamidopropyl betaine' (note the space in between) yielding over 2000 products and ‘Coco-betaine’, yielding 132 products. I have a few complaints about the EWG database but find it useful as a reference for leading me to more natural brands as well as ingredient information. I always take what I learn from the database and research further. If you err on the side of caution, then skipping a particular brand based on its score isn't the worst thing you could do in the world. I find that everything is about balance and sometimes I have to weigh out which ingredients I can accept and of course which ones I simply cannot tolerate because of my allergies.

Without digressing further, my goal of today’s post was to point out to the eczema sufferers out there and parents of little ones suffering with eczema, if you're curious about the products cocamidopropylbetaine is in, you might want to check out the skin deep database. Many of the products containing cocamidopropylbetaine could be in your house. At the end of the day, it's a personal choice but I think it’s worth taking note of especially because the ingredient is in many common store brands and swapping out products is relatively easy.

I took some screen shots listing the number of products cocamidopropylbetaine can be found in, but presently it is found in 2693 Skin Deep indexed products. Here are some of the products broken down into subcategories:

Shampoos                    1011 products

body wash/ cleanser       692 products

baby soap                       48 products! 

baby shampoo                 29 products!

(above is a screen shot on my computer - partial listing of products with cocamidopropyl betaine as an ingredient)

I never knew cocamidopropylbetaine was in so many products, and this is just products within the database. Just think how many products are out there. Hopefully, with additional supportive research, cocamidopropylbetaine will be used less due to sensitivity concerns. In the interim, eczema sufferers, we must be proactive; get to learn product ingredients and avoid this one if we can.

Have you used the Environmental Working Groups' Skin Deep database? What was your experience like and was it helpful in what you were searching for?