Triethanolamine 99% is an amine chemical with many functions that is used in a great many industries and has numerous uses. It is also used to manufacture a myriad of other chemicals, such as surfactants and emulsifiers. It is a common chemical ingredient used in many products in consumer, commercial, and industrial spaces.
Some of the more common uses for triethanolamine can be found in cosmetics where it is used for PH buffering and for adding stability to emulsified formulations. It is also used to neutralize fatty acids and for regulating and making oils soluble, as well as other ingredients that are less soluble in water.
Some common products where you may find TEA are in both commercial and residential paints, liquid laundry detergents, skin lotions, liquid dishwashing soaps, multi-purpose surface cleaners, shaving creams, and inks for printers.
What is Triethanolamine?
Triethanolamine, also known as TEA, is a colorless compound that, due to some impurities, may sometimes appear yellow in samples. It is an organic compound that is viscous and considered to be both a tertiary amine and a triol. A triol is a type of molecule with three alcohol groups. It has a myriad of uses throughout commercial food, industrial, construction, health & beauty product industries, and more.
It is most commonly used in surfactants, emulsifiers in formulations, and as a dispersing agent in products such as polishes, detergents, hand lotions, sunscreens, soaps, shampoos, and metalworking fluids, to name but a few.
What are the Uses of Triethanolamine?
Triethanolamine uses are extremely varied. However, it is commonly used for neutralizing fatty acids, regulating pH levels, and for making oils and other chemicals completely soluble in water. This makes it perfect for a myriad of products spanning the gamut of commercial and industrial applications. In fact, TEA is used in some of the most typical household items ranging from dish soap and laundry detergent to ear wax removal drops and skin lotions.
Triethanolamine in Skincare and Beauty Products
The primary uses for Triethanolmine in skincare products are as an emulsifier and pH regulator. Its primary benefits in skin care products are the stabilization and regulation of a product's pH and the thickening of any product's formulation. For example, certain emulsions based on TEA can be used for removing makeup.
It is commonly found in:
- Aftershave lotions
- Fragrances for women
- Make-up glitter
- Baby lotion
- Teeth whitening cream
- Hair spray
- Anti-aging cream
- Hair dyes
- Eye shadow
- Exfoliants and facial scrubs
- Foundation creams
- Beard care
Triethanolamine in Medicines
Common diseases of the ear, as well as certain infections, are treated with medicated ear drops. Many of these medicines are made with formulations containing TEA. In pharmaceutics, it is the active ingredient in certain eardrops that are used to treat commonly impacted earwax.
It is also used in:
- Joint and muscle soothers
- Hand sanitizer
- Foot creams
- Hair loss treatments
- Sunburn cream
Triethanolamine in Cement Production
In cement production, TEA is used to It help the process of grinding by preventing powder coating at the balls and mill wall surface. It is also used for regulating the setting time, and the gamut of hydration processes, as well as managing the cement’s mechanical strength.
Trietholomine Other Uses
TEA is also used in applications including photography, laboratory testing, soldering, holograms, and so much more. Most households in the US and abroad have numerous products currently in their home containing TEA and its derivatives. In fact, it is found in common products such as hand soap, shaving cream, sunscreen, make-up removers, and more.
Triethanolamine is considered safe.
Triethanolamine has been found to be safe for use in skincare, hair care, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic products. In the past, concerns were raised about whether it posed any toxic threat. And in effect, its safety as an ingredient in products for human use.
These concerns primarily came from the fact that triethanolamine is a resulting reaction from ammonia with N-nitrosating ingredients. It’s used to create nitrosamines, which were once thought to be carcinogens. However, it has since been determined that TEA is safe for use in products used by people.
In fact, it is used so widely in products commonly used, that most households in America and abroad typically have several commonly used products containing triethanolamine.
While there are few instances of skin reactions to triethanolamine, in almost every case reactions are extremely mild. The most common reaction to triethanolamine is contact allergy. Again, however, the vast majority of instances are very mild and even rarer.
Who Uses Triethanolamine?
Because of its wide-ranging use and beneficial properties, triethanolamine is used by numerous companies, brands, and industries.
- Construction Product Manufacturing
- Laboratory Technicians
- Skincare Manufacturers
- Pharmaceutical Companies
- Holography Product Manufacturing
- Ultrasonic Technicians
- Food Manufacturers
- Cosmetic Manufacturers