Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil in Personal Care Products:

Coconut oil, a versatile and natural ingredient, has found its way into a myriad of personal care products, thanks to its unique composition and beneficial properties. Among its many applications, coconut oil in personal care products serves as a vital source for the creation of gentle and effective surfactants, which are key components in cleansers, shampoos, and other skincare products.

In this article, we will delve into the multifaceted role of coconut oil in personal care products, exploring its benefits, applications, and the evolving trends that keep this tropical treasure at the forefront of the beauty and wellness industry.

Cocamide DEA

Cocamide DEA is a synthethic surfactant derived from coconut oil. Cocamide DEA is used as foaming agent, viscosity enhancer (to thicken liquid), emulsifier (stabilizing oil and water mixture such as in lotion), conditioning agent, and pH adjuster.

Coconut Oil in Personal Care Products: Global Market Size of Cocamide DEA

The global cocamide DEA (diethanolamine) market was valued at $263.86 million in 2022 and is anticipated to reach $323.61 million by 2029. According to Expert Market Research, more than half its market share by end-use is for personal care products and household detergents, although it is also used in cosmetic products.

Cocamide DEA is a preferred nonionic surfactant due to its lack of charge, making it suitable for various applications in industrial, household cleaning products, and cosmetics. This nonionic nature reduces the likelihood of interactions with other charged molecules, minimizing the risk of irritation and allergic reactions. This property is particularly beneficial in formulations where reducing skin irritation is essential, such as in liquid soap formulas.

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Chemical Composition and Production

To obtain Cocamide DEA, coconut oil is first hydrolyzed to separate the fatty acids from the glycerol backbone. This process results in a separation of fatty acids, with lauric acid (C12) being the most abundant. The fatty acids are then reacted with diethanolamine (DEA) in a process called amidation. During this reaction, the carboxylic acid group of the fatty acid forms an amide bond with the amine group of diethanolamine, yielding the desired product, Cocamide DEA.

Potential Health Issues of Cocamide DEA

Despite the widespread use, there have been reports of allergic reactions to cocamide DEA, causing dermatitis. Moreover, the substance can also form nitrosamines, which are potential carcinogens when combined with certain ingredients. Strategies to mitigate nitrosamine formation include minimizing the concentrations of chloramines and dissolved oxygen, as well as controlling the exposure of amines to nitrosating agents.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a synthetic surfactant derived from coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. It is commonly used in personal care products such as shampoos, body washes, facial cleansers, toothpaste, and hand soaps due to its excellent foaming properties and mild nature.

What is the raw material of CAPB?

CAPB is produced through a series of chemical reactions that start with the extraction of lauric acid from coconut oil. Lauric acid is then converted into cocamidopropyl dimethylamine, which is further reacted with sodium monochloroacetate to form cocamidopropyl betaine. This compound is valued for its ability to reduce the irritation potential of other surfactants, making it a popular choice in formulations for sensitive skin.

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Coconut Oil in Personal Care Products: Market Size of Cocamidopropyl Betaine

The global market for cocamidopropyl betaine has been growing steadily, driven by the increasing demand for mild and gentle personal care products. According to Business Research Insights, the Cocamidopropyl betaine market size was $273.3 million in 2022, and projected to reach $406.14 million by 2031. This growth is attributed to the rising consumer awareness of the benefits of using mild surfactants in personal care products, as well as the growing preference for natural and organic ingredients in the cosmetics industry.

Is CAPB Safe?

CAPB is considered a mild surfactant, safe for personal care products, even for cosmetics usage. Nevertheless, Despite its widespread use and popularity, cocamidopropyl betaine has been the subject of some recent concerns and findings. One of the main issues is its potential to cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Although CAPB is generally considered safe and non-irritating, there have been reports of contact dermatitis and skin sensitization in certain cases. Hence, restriction or usage limitation is paramount, especially as this surfactant does not immediately rinsed off.

Environmental Impact of CAPB

In terms of environmental safety, Cocamidopropyl Betaine is known for its biodegradability. The biodegradability of CAPB, an amphoteric surfactant, aligns with the growing demand for environmentally friendly surfactants, as they are typically more biodegradable and less toxic compared to traditional ionic surfactants.

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Decyl Glucoside

Decyl glucoside is a mild, non-ionic surfactant derived from natural sources, primarily coconut oil and corn glucose. It is used in a variety of personal care products such as shampoos, body washes, and facial cleansers due to its gentle cleansing and foaming properties. Decyl glucoside is biodegradable and is considered to be one of the mildest surfactants available, making it suitable for sensitive skin.

Chemical Composition and Production

Decyl glucoside is produced through a condensation reaction between glucose (sugar) derived from corn and decanol (fatty alcohol) derived from coconut oil. This reaction forms an alkyl polyglucoside, which is then purified to obtain decyl glucoside. In simpler terms, decyl glucoside is made by combining sugar and coconut oil to create a gentle, effective surfactant.

The sugar-based surfactant market, which includes decyl glucoside and sucrose cocoate, was valued at $5.72 billion in 2023. The market for decyl glucoside has been growing steadily due to increasing consumer preference for natural and mild ingredients in personal care products. It is commonly used in baby care products, natural and organic cosmetics, and products marketed for sensitive skin.

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Environmental Impact and Safety Considerations of Decyl Glucoside

Decyl glucoside is known for its biodegradability and low toxicity, making it an environmentally friendly choice. It is also generally mild and safe for skin application, scoring low in EWG Skin Deep rating. However, there have been some concerns about its potential to irritate the skin and eyes, particularly in high concentrations.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) is a gentle surfactant derived from the fatty acids in coconut oil. It is commonly used in personal care products such as shampoos, body washes, and facial cleansers due to its excellent lathering properties and mildness to the skin and eyes.

SCI is particularly popular in syndet bars (synthetic detergent bars) and sulfate-free formulations, as it provides a creamy, luxurious foam without stripping the skin of its natural oils. It scored very low in EWG’s Skin Deep Rating, means it is very safe for human use. However, further research and data is still required for this surfactant.

What are the ingredients in sodium cocoyl isethionate?

The production of SCI involves reaction of fatty acids, primarily lauric acid, from coconut oil with isethionic acid, a derivative of sulfuric acid, in the presence of a base like sodium hydroxide. This chemical process results in the formation of sodium cocoyl isethionate, a compound that effectively reduces the surface tension of water, allowing it to mix with oils and dirt, and thus enabling the cleansing action.

In simpler terms, think of SCI as a bridge between water and oil. When you use a product containing SCI, it helps water to mix with the oils on your skin or hair, making it easier to wash away dirt and impurities. This is why products with SCI leave your skin feeling clean but not dry or tight.

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Market Value of Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

As for its market size, SCI has seen steady growth in demand, particularly in the market for sulfate-free and mild cleansing products. The global sodium cocoyl isethionate market was valued at $212.3 million in 2022, and estimated to reach $349.6 million by the end of 2031. It is favored for its biodegradability and low irritant potential, making it a preferred choice for formulations aimed at sensitive skin.

Regarding recent issues, SCI is generally considered safe and environmentally friendly. It is biodegradable, which means it breaks down into harmless substances in the environment. While it is known to be a mild irritant to some individuals with extremely sensitive skin, it is generally well-tolerated and not known to be banned in any countries. Its cost can be higher compared to some other surfactants, but its benefits often justify the price in formulations where mildness and biodegradability are priorities.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a common surfactant that can be synthesized from coconut oil, palm kernel oil, as well as petrochemicals. Since we are discussing about coconut oil in personal case, we will focus on coconut-derived SLS. It is widely used in personal care products such as shampoos, kinds of toothpaste, body washes, and facial cleansers due to its excellent foaming and cleansing properties.

Coconut Oil in Personal Care: Producing SLS from Coconut Oil

The production of SLS from coconut oil involves several steps:

  1. Extraction of Lauric Acid: Lauric acid is extracted from coconut oil through a process called hydrolysis, where the oil is split into glycerin and fatty acids.
  2. Sulfonation: The extracted lauric acid is then reacted with sulfur trioxide (SO₃) to produce lauryl sulfate.
  3. Neutralization: The lauryl sulfate is neutralized with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to form sodium lauryl sulfate.

In simpler terms, SLS is made by taking a component from coconut oil, reacting it with a sulfur-containing compound, and then adding a sodium-containing compound to make it water-soluble and effective as a cleansing agent.

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Global Market Value of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

The global market for SLS is substantial, given its widespread use in various consumer products. It was valued at $652.36 million in 2022 globally according to Stratview Research, although it is unclear whether the value only accounts for plant-based SLS or all types of SLS.

Safety of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

SLS is known for its ability to create a rich lather and remove dirt and oil from the skin and hair. However, it has also been associated with some controversies:

  • Irritation: SLS can be irritating to the skin and eyes, especially in higher concentrations or with prolonged exposure.
  • Biodegradability: SLS is considered biodegradable, but its environmental impact is still a topic of research.
  • Alternatives: Due to concerns about irritation, there has been a rise in demand for milder and sulfate-free alternatives in personal care products.

Sodium Lauryl Sarcosinate

Sodium Lauryl Sarcosinate, commonly referred to as SLSarc, is a mild, biodegradable surfactant derived from natural sources such as coconut oil. It is produced through a chemical reaction between lauric acid, extracted from coconut oil, and sarcosine, an amino acid derivative. This reaction forms a compound that combines the cleansing properties of lauric acid with the mildness of sarcosine, resulting in a surfactant that is gentle on the skin and hair.

In simpler terms, think of it as mixing a coconut-derived ingredient with a protein-like component to create a gentle soap that can clean without being harsh.

SLSarc is commonly used in personal care products such as shampoos, body washes, facial cleansers, and shaving creams. Its mild nature makes it suitable for formulations intended for sensitive skin or for products that are used frequently. It is valued for its ability to produce a rich, creamy lather while being less irritating than traditional sulfates like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).

While SLSarc is primarily derived from coconut oil, it can also be synthesized from other sources of lauric acid, such as palm kernel oil. However, coconut oil is often preferred due to its sustainability and the quality of the lauric acid it provides.

Woman Pampering Herself in Bathtub

In terms of market size, the demand for milder and more natural surfactants like SLSarc has been growing, driven by consumer preference for gentle and environmentally friendly products. As for recent issues, SLSarc is generally considered safe and biodegradable, with no major concerns regarding irritancy or bans in any countries. However, as with all cosmetic ingredients, it is always important to use it within recommended concentrations to ensure safety and efficacy.

Sucrose Cocoate

Similar to Decyl Glucoside, Sucrose Cocoate is a sugar-based surfactant. It is a mild, non-ionic surfactant derived from the esterification of sucrose (sugar) with fatty acids from coconut oil. This process involves combining sucrose with the fatty acids in coconut oil, resulting in a compound that has both water-loving (hydrophilic) and oil-loving (lipophilic) properties. In simpler terms, think of it as mixing sugar with coconut oil to create a gentle cleanser that can dissolve both oil and water-based dirt.

Sucrose cocoate can also be derived from other fat sources, such as palm oil or soybean oil, but coconut oil is a common choice due to its high concentration of medium-chain fatty acids, which contribute to the surfactant’s mildness and skin-friendly properties.

As a derivative of coconut oil in personal care products, sucrose cocoate is used as an emulsifier, helping to blend oil and water ingredients together, and as a mild cleansing agent. It is commonly found in products like facial cleansers, body washes, shampoos, and baby products, where its gentle nature is particularly beneficial for sensitive skin.

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As for its market size, sucrose cocoate is part of the broader market for mild and natural surfactants particularly sugar-based surfactants, which has been growing in response to consumer demand for gentler, more environmentally friendly products. In terms of environmental safety, sucrose cocoate is generally considered to be biodegradable and non-irritating, making it a favorable choice for eco-conscious formulations. There are no known bans or major controversies associated with its use in personal care products.

Why Coconut Oil in Personal Care Products?

Coconut oil in personal care products are often seen as a safer and more eco-friendly choice compared to those made from petrochemicals. Here’s why:

  1. Biodegradability: Ingredients from coconut oil in personal care products break down more easily in the environment than petrochemical-based ones, which means less pollution and happier fish.
  2. Skin-Friendly: Coconut oil and its offshoots are known for being kind to your skin. They’re less likely to cause redness or allergies compared to some man-made ingredients.
  3. Sustainability: Coconut oil comes from a renewable source – coconuts! On the other hand, petrochemicals are made from fossil fuels, which aren’t just running out but also harm the planet.
  4. Non-toxicity: Generally, derivatives of coconut oil in personal care products is considered non-toxic and safe for slathering on your skin. Meanwhile, some ingredients from petrochemicals have raised health concerns.

But remember, the safety and impact on the environment of any ingredient can vary based on a bunch of factors like how much is used, how it’s made, and what else is in the product. If your business produce surfactants from coconut oil, consider importing quality RBD coconut oil from us. Contact us now!

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