Cocamide DEA

What is it? Cocamide DEA is a liquid non-ionic liquid surfactant made from coconuts. It helps boost foam, thicken surfactant blends, and condition the hair.
INCI Cocamide DEA
Appearance Pale yellow liquid
Usage rate “The CIR Expert Panel concluded that Cocamide DEA was safe as used in rinse-off products and safe at concentrations of less than or equal to 10% in leave-on products.” (source)
Scent Characteristically detergent-y
Active surfactant matter Varies by product; mine is 85%
Approximate Melting Point Liquid at room temperature
pH 8.5–11 at 1% (varies by product)
Charge Non-ionic
Solubility Water
Why do we use it in formulations? Cocamide DEA helps boost the foam in our formulations, thicken surfactant blends, and condition the hair.
Do you need it? No.
Refined or unrefined? Cocamide DEA only exists as a refined product.
Strengths Good thickener and foam booster.
Weaknesses Harder to find, depending on where you live.
Alternatives & Substitutions I’d try a different non-ionic liquid surfactant, like one of the glucosides. This may result in a thinner product, depending on the formulation, so you may have to adjust the formulation to get the desired final viscosity.
How to Work with It Include Cocamide DEA in the surfactant/water phase of your formulations. Cocamide DEA can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry,
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Cocamide DEA and Cocamide MEA are not the same.
Recommended starter amount 100mL (3.3fl oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon. Mine is from Mystic Moments.

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Some Formulations that Use Cocamide DEA


Posted on

March 19, 2021