Follow us on our new Insta page »


What-it-does: buffering
Irritancy: 0
Comedogenicity: 2

Official CosIng Information


It’s a little helper ingredient that helps to set the pH of a cosmetic formulation to be just right. It’s very alkaline (you know the opposite of being very acidic): a 1% solution has a pH of around 10.

It does not have the very best safety reputation but in general, you do not have to worry about it. 

What is true is that if a product contains so-called N-nitrogenating agents (e.g.: preservatives like 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, 5-Bromo-5-Nitro- 1,3-Dioxane or sodium nitrate - so look out for things with nitro, nitra in the name) that together with TEA can form some not nice carcinogenic stuff (that is called nitrosamines). But with proper formulation that does not happen, TEA in itself is not a bad guy. 

But let’s assume a bad combination of ingredients were used and the nitrosamines formed. :( Even in that case you are probably fine because as far as we know it cannot penetrate the skin. 

But to be on the safe side, if you see Triethanolamine in an INCI and also something with nitra, nitro in the name of it just skip the product, that cannot hurt.

Products with Triethanolamine

COR Silver Soap Davines Love Curl Cream Dr. Sensitive Activated Charcoal Acne Control Soap Flawless SAS Soap Innoderm Teranex Soap Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar Acne-Prone Skin Neutrogena Hypoallergenic Cleanser Transparent Bar Biologique Recherche Creme Placenta Clean & Clear Clean And Clear Foaming Face Wash For Oily Skin Clean & clear essentials Facial Foaming Cleaner Clean And Clear Foaming Face Wash Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera 100% Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel Wardah Lightening Face Toner Acqua Di Parma Barbiere Shaving Gel Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel Bull dog Sensitive Foaming Shave Gel Cathy Doll 99% Aloe Vera & Snail Serum Soothing Gel Clarins Men Smooth Shave Clinique For Men™ Aloe Shave Gel CoverGirl Professional Natural Lash Mascara Curatio Suncote Gel SPF 30 Freezeframe BB Blur Gillette Pure By Gillette Shaving Gel With Aloe Gillette Shave Gel Holika Holika Smooth Egg Charcoal Egg Soap Jafra Royal Boost Purifying Gel Cleanser Laline Facial Foam Cleanser Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme Prince Moisturising Shaving Gel (Aldi) Skin + Pharmacy Collageen Time Fix Serum Skin + Pharmacy Collagen Time Fix Serum SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque VICHY HOMME Anti Irritation Shaving Gel Wallace Brite Lite Cream AMADORIS The Mask Breathe AXE Messy Look Matte Gel Artistry Anti-Wrinkle Amplifier Barbasol Thick And Rich Shaving Cream Bel clinic Peeling Scrub Perfectly Gommage Bioclean Gel Anti Barritos CeraVe Sa Lotion For Rough & Bumpy Skin Creme of Nature Plex Treatment DermDoc Anti Acne Face Wash Folia Tepescohuite Hydrogel Forever Aloe Vera Gelly Forever Aloe Vera Gelly