Coco-Glucoside: What Is It, Skin Benefits, Cosmetic Uses & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: October 19, 2023
Table of Contents

The world of personal care products can often seem like a maze to many. This is mainly due to the jargon-filled ingredient listings on the packaging. Unless you have a background in cosmetic science, discerning each ingredient’s function can feel like trying to decode an alien language.

One ingredient you may have noticed in some of your products is Coco-Glucoside. Despite its somewhat exotic name, which might conjure images of coconuts and sugar, it’s not something you’d find in your kitchen pantry. Coco-Glucoside is actually a workhorse formulation component utilized in various cosmetic products!

In this article, we will demystify Coco-Glucoside and give you a more precise understanding of why it’s used in cosmetics; we will delve into the very nature of this ingredient and shed light on its benefits and possible side effects.

What is Coco-Glucoside?

Coco-Glucoside, also known as Alkyl Polyglucosides, is a non-ionic surfactant often used in personal care products. This ingredient is derived from renewable resources, specifically coconut alcohol and glucose. Its primary role in cosmetic formulations is to serve as a cleansing agent. It works by helping water to mix with oil and dirt on the skin or hair so that these impurities can be rinsed away.

Coco-Glucoside is known for its gentle nature, producing a soft and creamy foam, making it a popular choice for various cosmetic products, including facial cleansers, body washes, shampoos, and bubble baths. While it’s rarely sold as a stand-alone ingredient, it’s a common component in a range of skincare formulations and is typically used at concentrations ranging from 1% to 20%.

Who Can Use Coco-Glucoside?

Coco-Glucoside is a versatile ingredient suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, due to its gentle cleansing properties. It’s an excellent choice for individuals with dry skin, as it doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils.

As Coco-Glucoside is derived from coconut alcohol and glucose, it’s plant-based. This makes it suitable for vegans and vegetarians, as it doesn’t involve animal-derived ingredients or animal testing.

Regarding its use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, Coco-Glucoside is generally considered safe. However, it’s always important to check with your healthcare provider or a dermatologist if you have any concerns about skincare ingredients during these periods.

Coco-Glucoside Skin Benefits

Coco-Glucoside provides notable benefits to the skin due to its impressive cleansing ability:

  • Cleansing: The cleansing properties of Coco-Glucoside are beneficial for ensuring a clear, healthy complexion. It effectively removes surface dirt, excess oil, and makeup residue from the skin, leaving your face feeling clean and revitalized. Coco-glucoside helps prevent the buildup of impurities that can lead to clogged pores and breakouts by maintaining a clean skin surface. Additionally, removing buildup and residues enhances the absorption of other skincare products, allowing them to work more effectively.

Remember, these beneficial effects are not permanent, and the continued use of Coco-Glucoside is necessary to maintain its benefits. A consistent skincare routine incorporating this ingredient can contribute to a cleaner, fresher complexion over time.

Coco-Glucoside’s Non-active Cosmetic Uses

“Non-active” in the context of cosmetic ingredients refers to functions that contribute to the look, feel, and application of a product rather than having a direct effect on skin health or appearance. Non-active ingredients play crucial roles in enhancing the usability and sensory attributes of the product.

Coco-Glucoside, besides its active cleansing benefits, serves several non-active functions in cosmetic formulations:

  • Foaming: Coco-Glucoside is recognized for its ability to produce a rich, creamy foam. The foam is not just visually appealing but also contributes to the overall user experience by making the product feel luxurious and enjoyable to use. The foaming action happens due to the unique molecular structure of Coco-Glucoside. It has a hydrophilic (water-loving) head and a lipophilic (oil-loving) tail. When combined with water and agitated (for example, rubbing your hands with a product), the molecules arrange themselves into tiny bubbles or spheres. The result is foam, which improves the product’s spreadability and enhances the cleansing process by aiding in dirt and oil removal.
  • Surfactant: As a surfactant, Coco-Glucoside performs more than just a cleansing role; it also improves the product’s texture and consistency. Surfactants make it possible for oil-based and water-based ingredients, which typically do not mix well, to remain evenly dispersed in a product, enhancing its stability and shelf life. This improves the product’s overall consistency and ensures that the active ingredients stay distributed throughout the product for maximum effectiveness.

These non-active properties of Coco-Glucoside make it a valuable ingredient in cosmetic product formulation, enhancing both the function and the user experience of a wide range of products.

Coco-Glucoside Potential Side Effects

It’s important to understand that reactions to skincare ingredients, including Coco-Glucoside, can vary greatly from person to person. This variation is largely due to differences in individual skin types, lifestyle, and overall skin health. To understand your skin type better, you can refer to this guide.

Potential side effects and interactions of Coco-Glucoside are rare, but they may include:

  • Skin irritation in people with extremely sensitive skin. This can manifest as redness, itchiness, or a burning sensation.
  • In rare cases, people might have an allergic reaction to Coco-Glucoside, resulting in a rash or hives.

If you experience any of these side effects while using a product containing Coco-Glucoside, the best course of action is to stop using the product immediately and consult with a dermatologist or a healthcare professional.

Despite these potential side effects, it’s important to note that adverse reactions to Coco-Glucoside are rare. Generally speaking, Coco-Glucoside is considered safe and effective for its intended uses in cosmetic products.

Lastly, it’s crucial to mention the significance of patch testing when using any new cosmetic products. This involves applying a small amount of the product to a discreet area of skin and waiting at least 24 hours to check for any adverse reactions. For a detailed guide on conducting a patch test, refer to our comprehensive patch-testing guide.

Comedogenic Rating

Coco-Glucoside has a comedogenic rating of 0, indicating that it’s non-comedogenic. This score is due to Coco-Glucoside being a surfactant, designed to cleanse the skin without leaving behind any residue that could clog pores. Consequently, Coco-Glucoside is considered suitable for all skin types, including those who are prone to acne and breakouts. Its gentle, non-clogging nature makes it an excellent ingredient for those aiming to maintain clear, healthy skin.


Achieving success in skincare often involves a degree of experimentation, trial and error, and then consistency once you identify what works for you. Coco-Glucoside is an example of an ingredient that offers both active and non-active effects that benefit the skin immediately. It’s a workhorse that does more than just surface-level work; it actively cleanses the skin while also improving the texture and usability of the product.

Despite its notable benefits, Coco-Glucoside remains somewhat underappreciated in the cosmetic world. It’s not as commonly cited as some other ingredients, but it’s similar to other surfactants, like Decyl Glucoside or Lauryl Glucoside, in its function. Its sheer versatility and mildness make it a desirable ingredient that is slowly gaining recognition.

As for when to expect visible results from using products with Coco-Glucoside, it varies. Its cleansing benefits are immediate, but for long-term skin health benefits, consistent use over a few weeks is usually recommended.

If you have concerns about using Coco-Glucoside, remember that it’s known for being gentle and suitable for all skin types. Its plant-based origin makes it a good choice for those seeking natural and vegan skincare options. While it’s always wise to monitor your skin’s reaction to any new product, Coco-Glucoside stands out as a generally safe, effective, and beneficial ingredient for incorporating into your personal skincare routine.

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