1. Acidity Regulator / Buffering Agent – Changes or maintains the acidity or basicity of food/cosmetics.
2. Emulsifier – Allows water and oils to remain mixed together to form an emulsion, such as in mayonnaise, ice cream, and homogenized milk
3. Fragrance / Fragrance Component – Provides or enhances a particular smell or odor.
4. Surfactant – Reduces the surface tension to allow mixtures to be formed evenly. Emulsifier is a specific type of surfactant which allows two liquids to mix together evenly
Triethanolamine aka Trolamine (abbr. as TEOA to distinguish it from TEA which is for triethylamine) is a colourless compound although samples may appear yellow because of impurities.
Triethanolamine is used primarily in making surfactants, such as for emulsifier. It is a common ingredient in formulations used for both industrial and consumer products. The triethanolamine neutralizes fatty acids, adjusts and buffers the pH, and solubilizes oils and other ingredients that are not completely soluble in water. Triethanolammonium salts in some cases are more soluble than salts of alkali metals that might be used otherwise, and results in less alkaline products than would from using alkali metal hydroxides to form the salt. Some common products in which triethanolamine is found are sunscreen lotions, liquid laundry detergents, dishwashing liquids, general cleaners, hand sanitizers, polishes, metalworking fluids, paints, shaving cream and printing inks.
Various ear diseases and infections are treated with eardrops containing triethanolamine polypeptide oleate-condensate. In pharmaceutics, triethanolamine is the active ingredient of some eardrops used to treat impacted earwax. It also serves as a pH balancer in many different cosmetic products, ranging from cleansing creams and milks, skin lotions, eye gels, moisturizers, shampoos, shaving foams, and so on.
Scientific References :
1. PubChem: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/7618
Regulatory References :
1. International Fragrance Association Transparency List