What is Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine?

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine

This is part of our ongoing series to help consumers better understand chemicals, chemistry, and product formulations. We translate the science, bust the myths, and give you an honest assessment, so you can make informed choices for your family!

Ingredient: Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine (CAHS)

What it is: A surfactant derived from the fatty acids of coconut oil.

What it does: CAHS is a mild cleanser and conditioner that also boosts foam and reduces static. It’s a real multitasker!

Why we use it: Compared to many other surfactants used in shampoos and body washes (like the commonly used sodium lauryl sulfate – SLS), CAHS is very mild, not so severe or drying, and is not suspected to be potentially toxic or harmful, or to harm the environment.

What’s more, it’s included in the Handbook of Green Chemicals, it’s on the Safer Chemical Ingredients List developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling Program, and is also Whole Foods Premium Body Care approved. If these credible sources give it a thumbs-up, we do too.

Why we’re featuring it today: Oftentimes when people see an ingredient on a label that they’re not familiar with, a little mental red flag is raised and you stop and think, “What the heck is that?”  Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine is one of those little flag raisers (and rightly so — it’s quite a mouthful of a name!).

Part of our company’s mission is to educate consumers and writing these blog posts about different chemicals helps fulfill that commitment and empower you to make informed choices. If you still have any questions about CAHS, please let us know!