sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate

Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents , Irritants

Used primarily as a detergent cleansing agent, but is potentially drying and irritating for skin. Can be derived from coconut. It’s tricky to include in formulas due to stability issues, but it does produce copious foam. Secondary surfactants can be used with this cleansing agent to minimize its negative impact on skin, but why not just use a cleanser that contains gentler cleansing agents? All skin types do better with gentle cleansing agents, and there are plenty of options in that regard, so no need to settle for one that contains this potentially problematic cleansing agent.

See surfactant

«Back to Ingredient Dictionary

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

View Media Highlights

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

585623-IIS1 v1.0.0.451 12/1/2015 1:27:57 AM
Skip to Top of Page

Free Email Sign-Up

- (Less Frequent)
- Expert Advice Newsletter (twice a month)
- New reviews on Beautypedia (twice a month)

Birthday (Fill out to receive a birthday surprise)



Paula’s Choice Auto Delivery is a quick and convenient way to make sure you never run out of your favorite products again. Just select the products you can’t live without, choose how often you’d like them delivered and we’ll take care of the rest.

Get 10% off your first order when you sign up today.