Triethanolamine in Lotion

ZeeshanZeeshan Member, PCF student
edited April 27 in Formulating
Hi All,

When formulating a lotion, what role does TEA play? Is it just as a pH adjuster? 

If so, is there a minimum amount required or should I just put enough to reach the desired pH.

We are currently putting 0.8% of TEA 99%  but the pH is too high. If I half this, would it affect anything else other than the pH?

Below is the current formula

STEARIC ACID      2.00
G. M. S                 2.00
C. S. A                 1.00
I. P. M                  0.50
P. JELLY                1.00
WHITE OIL            7.00
GLYCERINE           2.50
M.P.G                   0.50
T. E. A                  0.80
M. PARABEN         0.20
H2O                     82.25




  • In this case, it’s a crucial part of emulsification system. Do not cut it as it will compromise emulsion stability. TEA-stearate emulsions are always above 7. Probably it’s 8-8.5 but that’s typical for this emulsifier.
  • and methylparaben alone isn’t broadspectrum
  • ZeeshanZeeshan Member, PCF student
    @ngarayeva001 thank you for your response and feedback.

    For the preservative, what else should be used to make it broad spectrum?

  • i am not an expert on preservatives. the safest way is to use ready blend. phenonip for example.
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    Regarding the preservative - I've heard that methylparaben is fungicidal, however in creams and lotion can be broad spectrum. [I wouldn't personally count on that tho. PET would confirm that :)
    I think the easiest one to work with is Liquid Germall Plus. Affordable, effective and almost fool prove. 
  • ZeeshanZeeshan Member, PCF student
    Thank you all for your responses - much appreciated.

    As I should not reduce the amount of TEA, how can I reduce the pH of the product? The limit in our country is 8.5 and I am on the higher end of the limit.

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