Sodium cocoyl glutamate

May 24, 2022 | Ingredients

There are a lot of different surfactants to choose from so I thought it would be nice to deep dive into each of them to get to know them better. Today we will look into sodium cocoyl glutamate. I got it from here.

sodium cocoyl glutamate

Sodium cocoyl glutamate is a salt of acyl glutamate that was obtained by acylation of glutamic acid (a naturally occuring amino acid) with fatty acids from coconut oil.

It is a very gentle foaming agent which is used to make products for face, body, hair and hands. As it is made with amino acid, it has a very good affinity with (keratin) the skin and hair leaving them with a pleasant silky feeling. It also adds some conditioning to the hair, so the combing is easier (wet and dry).


Sodium cocoyl gluatamate doesn‘t dry out the skin like other surfactants, so it is considered very mild. This surfactant has a good foamimg power and is resistant to hard water. The bubbles are fine and creamy, similar to SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate). However, it is usually used as a co-surfactant which stabilizes bubbles.

Basic properties

INCI Disodium cocoyl glutamate, sodium chloride, sodium glutamate, sodium cocoate
Function Surfactant
Type Mild anionic surfactant, sulfate-free, ethoxylated
Origin Coconut vegetable oil fatty acids and glutamic acid (obtained by fermentation of sugar)
Appearance Yellowish liquid, clear to cloudy
Active matter 25-30% of liquid
pH 10-11.5 (as is)
Usage rate 1-30%
Solubility Water
Other Criteria COSMOS, Ecocert approved
CMC (critical micelle concentration) 0.17 g/L
Thickening With lauryl glucoside, gums


It cannot be thickened by salt but it can be thickened with lauryl glucoside or with gums such as xanthan gum. However, it needs quite a high amount of lauryl glucoside to make a gel.

Sodium cocoyl glutamate could be used as a sole surfactant even though it is anionic. It would be even milder when combined with other surfactants especially with non-ionic surfactants such as lauryl glucoside, decyl glucoside or amphoteric surfactans such as betaines, sultaines.

Sodium cocoyl glutamate can be used together with amphoteric and non-ionic surfactants. It is possible to use it with SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate).

The pH of this surfactant is high (10-11.5), so the pH of the final product should be corrected for a more skin appropriate pH ( pH 5.5). When pH is more suited to the skin, the foaming power of this surfactant increases (pH 4-7). However, I haven’t noticed this with my formulations. It could be dependent on the whole surfactant system.


Sodium cocoyl glutamate can be used with cationic polymers or cationic surfactants and reduce the needed amount of them. 


It is extremely mild surfactant which can be even milder when combined with sodium cocoyl sarcosinate. This combination should be well tolerated even by the most sensitive skin. It has extremely low irritation potential.

Also, this ingredient is suitable for making shampoos for damaged and dry hair due to its conditioning power.

This surfactant leaves a soft and shiny feel to the hair and and smooth skin feel.



  • shower gels
  • facial cleansing gels
  • micellar water
  • hand wash
  • liquid shampoos
  • shaving cream
  • foaming scrub


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