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Cocamide DEA

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 20, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Cocamide DEA


Cocamide DEA is both water and oil soluble; it is a common ingredient that is found in many personal care products because it is a great emulsifier and foaming agent. It is also a thickening agent that can increase the viscosity of a water based solution.
Cocamide DEA’s property to completely dissolve in water and in oil makes it an ideal ingredient for non-drying soaps. Regular soaps may wash dirt and grime off but in the process they dry out the skin unnecessarily. This chemical ingredient in soaps, shampoos and other personal care products is derived from coconut oil.

History and Origin

Cocamide DEA is also known as cocamide diethanolamine. This chemical is created with the reaction of fatty acids with coconut oils. This is derived from the coconut tree hence the name cocamide. The tree is considered the “Tree of Life” because of the many uses that it has, from the root to the fruit that it bears.

Ancient Uses

During ancient times, cocamide DEA was unheard of. Ancient tribes mainly used the coconut tree for many of its life giving properties. The leaves and trunk were used for shelter and for baskets. The fruit was used for food and the husk for fuel. The coconut meat, where coconut oil is extracted, was used as a food staple and was later used for its many other therapeutic properties. Even the coconut root was used for weaving and many other useful items in the home.

Modern Uses

Cocamide DEA is used for many personal care products. Because of its foaming ability plus the ability to stabilize surfactants it has fast become one of the main ingredients that are commonly found in shampoos, conditioners and many other hair care products. It is considered a non-drying alternative to regular soap thus many hand sanitizers, hand washes and hand moisturizers have cocamide DEA as their main ingredient.
Other personal products that also have cocamide DEA as an ingredient are bubble baths, exfoliants, dandruff shampoos, bath scrubs and bath oils. It is also considered safe to use for cosmetic products by many regulating agencies and bodies. Studies have also shown that cocamide DEA is safe to use as a rinse off product rather than a leave on product for hair and skin care.

Side Effects

Cocamide DEA is considered to be safe to use as a skin and hair care
product. Although there may still be a small number of people who may experience minor skin irritation due to use of products with cocamide DEA, this chemical ingredient is still proven safe and effective for many personal care products.
It may also be safe to use for infants sensitive skin. It is considered non-drying and great for children and adults with extra sensitive skin.

If you have experienced any skin irritation after using any type product that contains cocamide DEA, consult a dermatologist at once. He may advise a better skin care product to use other than regular products that may contain this chemical. Skin care products with cocamide DEA as a main ingredient must not be used on open, damaged or irritated skin. A dermatologist can advice a better alternative.

Read also: Collagen Type II

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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