Cocoamido propil betaina, also known as coconut betaine (abbreviated CAPB), is a coconut oil derivative that is a viscous yellow liquid produced when raw coconut oil is mixed with a naturally derived chemical called dimethylaminopropylamine (DMAP).
Coconut oil is a natural source of many complex fatty acids. As well as being an important part of the diet, these acids have other benefits such as helping to lock in moisture to the skin and hair. On a chemical level, these properties mean that the substance is an excellent binder, helping compounds (especially liquids) to stick together and therefore having a very good thickening effect.
Cocoamido propil betaina is a compound that maintains a wide range of stable pH values, and in most cases it has a mild antiseptic and antibacterial effect. Many manufacturers use this compound in their toilet bowl cleansers. In addition, it is often used as a disinfectant ingredient in facial scrubs and exfoliating products, and is excellent for preventing new acne outbreaks. The pH level of cocoamido propil betaina also allows it to fuse with other cationic, anionic and non-ionic surfactants, making it a common ingredient in products such as hair dyes.