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INCI: Triethanolamine

What is Triethanolamine?

Triethanolamine (TEA) is an organic compound that is commonly used in the skincare industry as an emulsifier, pH adjuster, and surfactant. It is formed by reacting ethylene oxide and aqueous ammonia. TEA is a colorless to light yellowish viscous liquid with a light ammonia odor. It can solidify depending on the storage conditions and is soluble in water and oils. For more information refer to TEA.


Use & Benefits:

Emulsifier: TEA is a versatile emulsifying agent that helps to mix oil and water-based ingredients together. It can be used in various skincare products, such as lotions, creams, and serums, to create a smooth and homogeneous texture. TEA is also used in hair care products, such as shampoos and conditioners, to improve their texture and consistency.

pH adjuster: TEA is a weak base and is commonly used to adjust the pH of skincare products. It is used to neutralize acidic ingredients, such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), that can irritate the skin. By adjusting the pH of skincare products, TEA can help to improve their stability and effectiveness.

Surfactant: TEA is a surfactant that helps to reduce the surface tension between different ingredients. It can help to improve the foaming and cleansing properties of skincare products, such as facial cleansers and body washes.

Skin conditioning agent: TEA can act as a skin conditioning agent and can help to improve the texture and feel of the skin. It is used in various skincare products, such as moisturizers and anti-aging creams, to provide hydration and nourishment to the skin.


TEA is considered safe for use in skincare products at concentrations up to 5%. However, at higher concentrations, it can cause skin irritation and sensitization. TEA has also been shown to have potential carcinogenic effects in animal studies. Therefore, it is recommended to use TEA in skincare products at safe concentrations and to follow the guidelines set by regulatory agencies.

In conclusion, Triethanolamine is a versatile and commonly used ingredient in the skincare industry that has several benefits for the skin. It can act as an emulsifier, pH adjuster, surfactant, and skin conditioning agent. However, it should be used at safe concentrations and following the guidelines set by regulatory agencies.


1.    National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Database. Triethanolamine, CID=7618, (accessed on May 3, 2023).
2.    Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel. Final report on the safety assessment of Triethanolamine. Int J Toxicol. 2002;21 Suppl 2:1-27. doi: 10.1080/10915810290096548. PMID: 12496258.
3.    Personal Care Council. Triethanolamine. (accessed on May 3, 2023).

Personalized & Adaptive skincare system

Create your own custom skincare and  adapt it to your skin changes

How to create your own Personalized Skincare with Lesielle?

Icons of the lesielle custom skin care system

Step 1: Select a nourishing base compatible with your skin, and your desired moisturization level

Step 2: Complete your treatment with up to four active ingredients for consistent and occasional use.

Step 3: Insert your base and up to four actives ingredients into your Lesielle device to produce a fresh single dose of face cream on demand when you need it.

Complete your routine with a cleanser and other complimentary products and accessories.


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