Triethanolamine Uses in Cosmetics and Industries

Triethanolamine (TEA), also known as trolamine, is a organic compound and chemical formula is N(CH2CH2OH)3. It is a colorless, viscous liquid that is both a tertiary amine and a triol. It ideal for use as a pH adjuster, emulsifier, and surfactant.

Triethanolamine Uses

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1. Cosmetic and Personal Care Products

It is a common ingredient in skincare and hair care products. It acts as a pH adjuster, helping to maintain the desired acidity or alkalinity of the cosmetic products.

It is also used as a emulsifier, aiding in the mixing of water and oil-based ingredients in creams, lotions, and shampoos.

Triethanolamine properties as a surfactant make it an essential component in soaps and many types cleansers.

2. Pharmaceuticals

Triethanolamine plays a important role in the pharmaceutical industry as an excipient in drug formulations.

It is used to adjust the pH of medications, ensuring their stability and effectiveness.

 It can act as a solubilizing agent, helping to dissolve poorly soluble drugs.

3. Metalworking and Corrosion Protection 

It is used as a corrosion inhibitor, protecting metal surfaces from rust and degradation.

It also serves as a coolant and cutting fluid in metalworking processes industry.

Triethanolamine Uses in Cosmetics and Industries

4. Textile Industry

It is utilized as a textile softener and dye auxiliary in the textile industry, enhancing the feel and appearance of fabrics.

It aids in dye penetration and color retention in textiles manufacturing industry.

5. Oil and Gas Industry

In oil refineries, it is employed as a gas sweetening agent, removing hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide from natural gas streams.

6. Adhesives and Sealants

It is used in the production of adhesives and sealants, improving their performance and durability.

7. Cleaning Products

Triethanolamine used in household and industrial cleaning products due to its emulsifying and detergent properties.

Others Uses Of TEA

1. It is used in agriculture as a herbicide and algicide.

2. It is used in paper making to improve the brightness and opacity of paper.

3. It is used as a pH adjuster in variety of products, such as cosmetics, detergents, and industrial cleaners.

4. It is used in cement to help improve its workability and strength.

5. It is used in paints and inks to help the ingredients mix together and prevent them from separating.

6. It is used in some types of hand sanitizers to help kill bacteria and viruses.

7. It is used in dishwashing liquids to help cut through grease and grime on dishes.

8. It is used in sunscreen lotions to help the active ingredients adhere to the skin and provide protection by the UV rays.


Triethanolamine is a multi-faceted compound with a wide range of applications, making it an integral part of several industries. From skincare to pharmaceuticals, metalworking to textiles, and even in the oil and gas.


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