Alkyl Taurate Amides and Taurate Salts

Safety Information

Expert Panel for Cosmetic Ingredient Safety 

In 2015, the Expert Panel reviewed the safety of 20 alkyl taurate amides and taurate salts, concluding that the following ingredients are safe in the present practices of use and concentration in cosmetics, when formulated to be non-irritating to skin and eyes:

Sodium methyltaurate Sodium taurine cocoyl methyltaurate
Calcium lauroyl taurate Potassium taurate*
Magnesium methyl cocoyl taurate Sodium taurate*
Sodium cocoyl taurate Potassium cocoyl taurate*
Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate Potassium methyl cocoyl taurate*
Sodium lauroyl taurate Sodium caproyl methyltaurate*
Sodium methyl lauroyl taurate Sodium n-isostearoyl methyltaurate*
Sodium methyl myristoyl taurate Sodium methyl palmitoyl taurate*
Sodium methyl oleoyl taurate Sodium methyltaurate isopalmitamide*
Sodium methyl stearoyl taurate Sodium methyltaurine cocoyl methyltaurate*

*Not reported to be in current use. Should these ingredients be used in the future, the expectation is that they would be used in product categories and at concentrations comparable to others in this group.

The Expert Panel reviewed the safety of 20 alkyl taurate amides and taurate salts as used in cosmetics. These ingredients are all structurally related by having the same taurate (2-aminoethane-1-sulfonate) core and are mostly used as surfactants-cleansing agents in cosmetics. The Expert Panel concluded that the alkyl taurate amides and taurate salts in its safety assessment are safe in cosmetics in the present practices of use and concentration when formulated to be non-irritating.

The Expert Panel expressed concern regarding pesticide residues and heavy metals that may be present in botanical-derived ingredients. They stressed the cosmetics industry continue to follow current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) to limit impurities in the ingredient before blending into cosmetics formulations.

Link to more safety information on botanical ingredients.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Sodium methyl oleoyl taurate may be used as a component of paper and paperboard that comes into contact with dry food without restriction. It may come into contact with aqueous and fatty foods only as an adjuvant to control pulp absorbency and pitch content in the manufacturing process. [21CFR176.170; 21CFR176.180]

All of the alkyl taurate amides and taurate salts reviewed by the Expert Panel are all listed in the EU’s Cosmetic Ingredient Database (CosIng) and may be used safely under the rules governing cosmetic products Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union and used as occlusive skin conditioning agents in cosmetics.


Alkyl Taurate Amides and Taurate Salts

What Is It?

Alkyl taurate amides and taurate salts are structurally related, possessing the same taurate (2-aminoethane-1-sulfonate) core. Alkyl taurate amides may be manufactured by reaction of taurine, N-methyltaurine or a taurate salt, with the appropriate fatty acid. Most of the alkyl taurate amides and taurate salts are found in a solid form. For example, calcium lauroyl taurate is a white powder with a high fluidity.

Why Is It Used?

According to the International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, alkyl taurate amides and taurate salts are used primarily in rinse-off bath and hair products, as surfactant-cleansing agents, skin conditioning agents-miscellaneous, surfactant-emulsifying agents and surfactant-foam boosters. Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate is used most often, mainly in rinse-off formulations.  

Scientific Facts

Some of the alkyl taurate amide and taurate salts ingredients have names that suggest discrete fatty chain-lengths. However, all of these ingredients, are likely to be mixtures of substances with different chain lengths. The length specified in the names of each of these ingredients indicates the primary, or average, chain length of the substances in the mixture. For example, those ingredients with a “cocoyl” name are the result of reaction with coconut acid, which is approximately 0-1% caproic, 5-9% caprylic, 6-10% capric, 44-52% lauric, 13-19% myristic, 0-1% palmitoleic, 1-3% stearic, 5-8% oleic and trace-2.5% linoleic acid.

Taurine is ubiquitous in high concentrations naturally occurring throughout the animal kingdom. A human body weighing 70 kg contains up to 70 g of taurine. Taurine plays an important role in the regulation of the cardiovascular system, functions of the brain, retina, liver, sperm, muscle and other general biological activities (for example, osmoregulation and calcium modulation). Taurine levels are particularly high in electrically excitable tissues of mammals, especially in secretory structures. After ingestion in mammals, taurine is mostly excreted unchanged or in the form of bile salts, such as taurocholate.