What is Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate?

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr


This is part of our ongoing series helping 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!


Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate

What it is:

Disodium coco-glucoside citrate is derived from citric acid (made from fermenting sugar) and coco-glucoside (made from fatty acids found in coconuts).

What it does:

It’s a very mild, anionic surfactant (which is a compound that helps clean by reducing the surface tension of water, binding to dirt and grime to wash it away more effectively) (1,2). Not only does disodium coco-glucoside citrate gently clean, it’s also an emulsifier, which helps keep all the ingredients in a formula consistently mixed up (3).

Why we use it:

Compared to many other surfactants used in shampoos and body washes (like the commonly used sodium lauryl sulfate – SLS), disodium coco-glucoside citrate is very mild (perfect for babies or those with sensitive skin), and it’s not suspected to be potentially toxic or harmful or bad for the environment (1,4-6). It’s even a U.S. EPA Safer Choice chemical, which means it’s safer for human health and the environment (7).

What’s more, it’s Whole Foods Premium Body Care-approved – and their standards, developed by a team of scientists over the course of years, are some of the strictest available.

Why we’re featuring it today:

You’ll often hear the recommendation to avoid ingredients you can’t pronounce. It’s a great starting point for trying to understand what’s inside your products, but it certainly doesn’t mean that anything difficult to pronounce is inherently bad. Disodium coco-glucoside citrate is a great example. Know how to conquer fear of the unknown? Being curious, researching, and learning more! (At least, it works for us.)

Still, who has time to research every ingredient? That’s why it’s part of our company’s mission to provide educational resources backed by solid research (like this series about different chemicals and ingredients) to help you make informed choices. We’ll give you one less thing to worry about and you can spend that time enjoying your life and our products.


  1. Ash, M. (2004). Handbook of green chemicals. Synapse Info Resources.
  2. Bathroom products – Coming out in the wash. Retrieved December 7, 2015, from http://www.cosmeticsbusiness.com/technical/article_page/bathroom_products__coming_out_in_the_wash/49792
  3. Common menu bar links. (2015). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/ingredreq.do?id=15655&lang=eng
  4. Disodium coco-glucoside citrate Material Safety Data Sheet. (2012). Retrieved December 7, 2015, from http://www.ritacorp.com/wp-content/uploads/MSDSs/lamberti/50109.pdf
  5. Geier, J., Uter, W., Pirker, C., & Frosch, P. J. (2003, 12). Patch testing with the irritant sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is useful in interpreting weak reactions to contact allergens as allergic or irritant. Contact Dermatitis, 48(2), 99-107. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0536.2003.480209.x
  6. Branco, N., Lee, I., Zhai, H., & Maibach, H. I. (2005). Long‐term repetitive sodium lauryl sulfate‐induced irritation of the skin: an in vivo study. Contact Dermatitis, 53(5), 278-284.
  7. Safer Chemical Ingredients List with Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Information. Retrieved December 7, 2015, from http://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-chemical-ingredients-list-chemical-abstracts-service-cas-information

This post was revised as of 1/14/2016.


1 Comment

  1. Julie Souza

    First, congratulations on site, very informative for us consumers naive and lay on matters pertaining to the products we use in the body.

    Well … my question is:
    What is the pH of this ingredient? Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate can be added in conditioner to turn this cream shampoo? Where to buy Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate?

DISCLAIMER: Content on this site is not a substitute for professional medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis, treatment, dietary, or safety advice, and may not be used for such purposes. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified expert with any questions you may have regarding a medical question, condition, or safety concern. Reliance on information presented on this site is at your own risk. This site contains the opinions and views of others and does not represent the opinions and views of The Honest Company. Given the interactive nature of this site, we cannot endorse, guarantee, or be responsible for the accuracy or efficacy of any content generated by our users or bloggers.
Sign up for Honest Home emails
By entering your email you agree to our Terms of Service