Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

Everything about sodium cocoyl isethionate at a glance


Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate is a surfactant that's derived from coconut oil. It is known to be mild and gentle on the skin. Continue reading the blog to learn more!


Let’s not deny; Many of us have a habit of peeking into the ingredients list of our skincare products and trying to understand the properties of individual elements. You would notice that some ingredients are common in a specific product type. It’s also possible that you have come across one such common ingredient in shampoos, face washes, and body washes- sodium cocoyl isethionate. 

A naturally occurring substance called sodium cocoyl isethionate is obtained from coconuts, specifically from coconut oil. When compared to other surfactants with comparable cleansing and foaming qualities, sodium cocoyl isethionate offers remarkably moisturizing properties, much like coconut oil. Let us delve deeper and find out how this ingredient benefits your skin and its uses.  

What is sodium cocoyl isethionate?

Sodium cocoyl isethionate is a cleansing agent derived from coconut oil. Commonly seen in body washes, face washes, and shampoos, it can lift dirt and oil from the skin very easily. It is well known that sodium cocoyl isethionate, which is made from coconut oil, is very gentle and light on the skin. It is regarded as a surfactant since they mix well with both oils and water and are utilized as a cleansing agent. 

Without stripping the skin, it leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated. Additionally, it aids in emulsifying the washing substance. If you ever wondered what created the luxurious lather you adored, you now have the answer. The range of concentration of the ingredient is 10-25% in skincare products. It is one of the gentlest surfactants there is, making it suitable for all skin types.

Benefits of sodium cocoyl isethionate

There’s good news- Sodium cocoyl isethionate is suitable even for sensitive skin because it being a gentle surfactant. Other than this, there are many other benefits of the ingredient, which is why it is often used as the primary cleansing agent in various soaps, body washes, face washes, and more:

1) Silky lather

The surfactant can lower the surface tension of water and hence help to spread the product easily. The lather produced is not too harsh on your skin or hair and hence does not cause excessive dryness or lead to tangling and frizzing of hair.

2) Moisturization

The velvety and stable foam produced by the ingredient does not dehydrate the skin. As a result, any product with sodium cocoyl isethionate provides hydration and moisturization.

3) Gentle and mild

Unlike most surfactants, Sodium cocoyl isethionate is comparatively mild and hence suitable for all skin types. It can bond with water and oil and hence easily lift off makeup residue, dirt and grime without too much rubbing.

4) Protects skin barrier

It does not damage the natural skin barrier and hence, your skin does not feel the taut and dry effect that is often associated with most stripping sulfates.

Side effects of using sodium cocoyl isethionate 

There are no known side effects of sodium cocoyl isethionate to date. This is the primary reason behind its widespread use in cosmetic cleansing products. However, people who are allergic to coconut need to avoid it as it can trigger allergic reactions. Moreover, overusing any product with the ingredient can lead to the skin becoming too dry.

If you use the component excessively, it could be drying especially if you have thicker or more naturally curly hair. Use it cautiously if you have dryer hair types because it could deplete the hair of its natural oils if you do. Hence, it is best to use the products as directed on the label. 

Uses of sodium cocoyl isethionate

You can reap the benefits of the ingredient by choosing any skincare or haircare product formulated with it.

  • Face washes:

Many gentle face washes use this ingredient. Foxtale’s Daily Duet Face Wash contains sodium cocoyl isethionate along with other hydrating ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate which is why it is very gentle on all skin types. Moreover, it can double as a makeup remover too.
  • Shampoos:

It is a common surfactant in many mild shampoos, especially those formulated to prevent frizzing and tangling. Due to its emulsifying ability, which allows water and oil to combine, many shampoos use it. 
  • Body washes:

Since it protects the skin barrier and prevents moisture loss, sodium cocoyl isethionate is a common ingredient for body washes.

How to use Sodium cocoyl isethionate

Sodium cocoyl isethionate can be used every day thanks to its mild and gentle nature. If you’re using it in the form of a body wash, you can incorporate it twice. If it's a cleanser, you shouldn't use it more than twice a day.

In Conclusion- 

Sodium cocoyl isethionate offers a range of benefits- to your skin and hair. Not only does it remove all the dirt and grime gently but also leaves your skin feeling hydrated and moisturized. In short, it is a universal ingredient in most mild cleansing products and even those with sensitive skin(yes, even you) can get good use out of it!


1.Is sodium cocoyl isethionate drying?

Sodium cocoyl isethionate is known for its gentle nature and isn’t drying.  When mixed with additional surfactants, sodium cocoyl isethionate creates a luxurious, creamy shampoo and body wash.

2.Is sodium cocoyl isethionate safe for sensitive skin?

Sodium cocoyl isethionate which is a gentle soap-free washing agent is well known for its capacity to lessen the damage to the skin's barrier. It is derived from coconut and is suitable for sensitive skin.

3.Is sodium cocoyl isethionate sulfate free?

For those who prefer to stay away from widely used surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate, this substance is a viable sulfate-free substitute. 

4.Is sodium cocoyl isethionate a good cleanser?

Although it is known to be very gentle, sodium cocoyl isethionate is nevertheless an effective cleaner and has a mild scent, which broadens its applicability.

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