Triethanolamine Average pH-adjuster-stabiliser No known benefits Triethanolamine description Triethanolamine (also known as TEA) is used in cosmetics as a pH balancer and emulsion stabilizer. Like all amines, it has the potential for creating nitrosamines. There’s controversy as to whether or not this poses a real problem for skin, given the low concentrations used in cosmetics and the theory that nitrosamines cannot penetrate skin. Triethanaolime is typically used in amounts less than 1% in cosmetics; concentrations of 2.5% have been found to be non-irritating when applied to skin. It is also added to foods.