The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients


CAS Number 102-71-6
Chem/IUPAC Name: 2,2',2''-Nitrilotriethanol
EINECS/ELINCS No: 203-049-8
COSING REF No: 38702
Triethanolamine (TEA) is a non-active ingredient that does not have any effect on the skin but is only used to balance the pH of formulations and stabilize them. This ingredient improves the feel of the product and the way that it interacts with the skin. Triethanolamine is found in a range of cosmetic and skin care products such as moisturizers, lotions, mascaras, eyeliners, etc. Additionally, Triethanolamine is non-comedogenic and does not cause acne. The chemical formula of Triethanolamine is C6H15NO3.

What is TRIETHANOLAMINE used for?

Triethanolamine is used in a range of products in the cosmetic industry but it has no direct effect on the skin and hair. It is supposed to be an inactive ingredient that keeps the formulations usable and preserves the texture.
  • For skin care products, it is added to reduce the acidity or alkalinity of the formulations. Products that have neutral pH levels do not irritate the skin
  • In cosmetics formulations, it keeps the ingredients from separating. It is a great emulsifier that holds everything together to result in an ideal product
  • In hair care products, Triethanolamine balances the pH levels and also acts as a thickening agent. It maintains an ideal consistency for a better spreadability of the product


Triethanolamine, a viscous organic compound, is made by the reaction of aqueous ammonia and ethylene oxide. It is a colorless ingredient but may appear yellow due to the presence of impurities.

What does TRIETHANOLAMINE do in a formulation?

  • Buffering
  • Emulsifying
  • Masking
  • Surfactant


Triethanolamine is safe for skin and hair when used in lower concentrations between 1-3%. Concentrations higher than this may cause irritation and redness. A patch test is recommended prior to full application. Triethanolamine ingredient is not a carcinogen unless and until it is used along with N-nitrosating agents in a product. It is also vegan and halal.


TRIETHANOLAMINE Technical profile

Property Values
Boiling Point 335.4°C
Melting Point 21.6°C
pH 7.5
Solubility Miscible in water
Viscosity 921 cP

Commercial Selection : Grades containing solely TRIETHANOLAMINE

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