18 Most Harmful Cosmetic Ingredients: Lets Talk About DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoetholamine) and TEA (Triethanolamine)

chemical-free skin cream


I want to give information to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposure to harmful chemicals.  I need you to understand that if any of the ingredients I discuss with you have a low score of being an overall health hazard, it is still enough to know you do not want it in or on your body.  Many of these ingredients are only tested for a short time and not by testing it regularly and for many years.  Toxic absorption builds up over time and so does its ability to harm our body.   So adding a little on your skin today adds up over a week, a month, a year and longer.

DEA, MEA and TEA are petrochemicals, present in many consumer products ranging from cosmetics, personal care and household cleaning products.  

Ethanolamine (MEA) monoethanolamine is used as a pH adjuster and buffering in cosmetics. It has moderate to high use restrictions in cosmetics, other high concerns are occupational hazards, moderate concerns organ system toxicity (non reproductive) and other low concerns irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs). Ethanolamine has been linked to liver tumors.

Nitrosamines are impurities that can show up in a wide array of cosmetics ingredients -including diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). The U.K.’s Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform characterizes nitrosamines as toxic in more animal species than any other category of chemical carcinogen . While common in cosmetics, nitrosamines are not listed on product labels because they are impurities, but avoiding products with DEA and TEA is a start.

Diethanolamine (DEA) is a pH adjuster, it has high use restrictions in cosmetics, other high concerns are contamination concerns, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs). Organ system toxicity (non reproductive).  Occupational hazards.

Triethanolamine (TEA) is a fragrant ingredient, pH adjuster, surfactant, emulsifying agent, buffering and masking.  It has moderate to high use restrictions, other high concerns are contamination concerns, and moderate concerns organ system toxicity (non reproductive).  

Please check all your skincare products at home to see if they contain these ingredients.  Be wise, be safe.