Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a foaming agent which can be derived from a range of different oils. The grade we use is derived from coconut oil. Studies into this ingredient consistently show that CAPB, as used in shampoos, shower gels and the like, is of low irritancy and is most unlikely to cause adverse reactions. Indeed, it is so mild that it is internationally recommended for use in foaming products designed for use by babies, infants and those with sensitive skin.
Claims in the media that CAPB is a skin and eye irritant are based upon information found in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for this ingredient. This information is aimed at people (laboratory technicians, manufacturers and the like) who handle this ingredient in its pure, undiluted form. It is not relevant when dealing with the same ingredient when it is heavily diluted in a finished product. Many other natural ingredients are also classed as skin and eye irritants in their pure, undiluted form - examples include essential oils, ethanol and vinegar.
The Cocamidopropyl betaine that we use has a maximum permitted level of <0.3% amidoamine, which is the level set by the Soil Association for this ingredient. In practical terms this is as low as is possible to achieve using modern methods of production.