Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate

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Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate
Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate.svg
IUPAC name
Sodium [dodecanoyl(methyl)amino]acetate
3D model (Jmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.004.801
Molar mass 293.38 g·mol−1
Melting point 140 °C (284 °F; 413 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (INCI), also known as sarkosyl, is an ionic surfactant derived from sarcosine used as a foaming and cleansing agent in shampoo, shaving foam, toothpaste, and foam wash products.[1] In molecular biology experiments, sarkosyl is used to inhibit the initiation of DNA transcription.

This surfactant is amphiphilic due to the hydrophobic 12-carbon chain (lauroyl) and the hydrophilic carboxylate. Since the nitrogen atom is in an amide linkage, the nitrogen is not pH active and is neutrally charged in all aqueous solutions regardless of pH. The carboxylate has a pKa of about 3.6 and is therefore negatively charged in solutions of pH greater than about 5.5.

pH-sensitive vesicles can be prepared using this surfactant with another cationic or water-insoluble amphiphiles such as 1-decanol.[2]

Addition of an mixture of equal parts of sodium lauroyl sarcosinate and the non-ionic surfactant sorbitan monolaurate (S20) to water led to the formation of micelle-like aggregates, even though neither surfactant formed micelles when present alone. Such aggregates can help carry other small molecules, such as drugs, through the skin.[3]

In culture[edit]

Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate was sold as a special ingredient called 'Gardol' in Colgate Dental Cream (toothpaste) during the 1950s[4][5][6] through the mid-1960s in the US[7][8] and the mid-1970s in France.[9] Current use as a preventive dentifrice is in Arm & Hammer toothpaste.


  • Ambühl, M; F. Bangerter; P.L. Luisi; P. Skrobal; H.J. Watzke (1993). "Configurational changes accompanying vesiculation of mixed single-chain amphiphiles". Langmuir. 9: 36–38. doi:10.1021/la00025a011. 
  • Ghosh, S; J.Dey (2011). J. Colloid and Interface Sci. 358: 208–216.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]