No known benefits

Tromethamine at a glance

  • Triol, or alcohol with three hydroxyl groups
  • Used in skin care to help neutralize pH
  • Can reduce a formula’s chance of irritation
  • CIR Expert Panel deemed safe for use in cosmetics at current levels

Tromethamine description

Tromethamine is a triol, a type of alcohol that contains three hydroxyl groups which consist of bonded hydrogen and oxygen atoms. It serves as a pH adjusting ingredient in skin care formulations. When used in cosmetic formulas it assists in neutralizing more acidic substances due to its alkaline pH. Although skin is naturally acidic, with a pH ranging between 4 and 5, altering skin’s natural delicate pH balance can cause irritation. The balance that tromethamine brings to a formula’s pH can help prevent this. As a raw material tromethamine appears as a white crystalline powder. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel concluded that it’s safe for use in current cosmetic preparations. It’s commonly used in concentrations between 0.00009–3.7%. Outside of cosmetics, tromethamine is used in medical applications to reduce acidity.

Tromethamine references

  • PubChem, Accessed October 2022, ePublication
  • Cosmetics, August 2021, ePublication
  • International Journal of Toxicology, May/June 2018, pages 5S-18S

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not Rated