DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain DEA commonly used in oral care & personal hygiene products. According to the FDA, cocamide DEA is perfectly safe for use in personal hygiene products and cosmetics. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) listed the chemical as known to cause cancer. DEA is a mixture of ethanolamines that are expected to be toxic or harmful by Environment Canad'a’s Domestic Database of substances. DEA is used in oral care products, personal hygiene products, moisturisers & sunscreens. Cocamide and lauramide DEA are found mostly in soaps, cleansers & shampoos, it is also considered hazardous to the environment as it causes acute toxicity to aquatic organisms.


Cocoamide DEA CAS No: 111-42-2. Other names: Di(2-hydroxyethyl)amine; Diethanolamine; Ethanol, 2,2, Related chemicals: MEA and TEA. CAS No: 8051-30-7 Other names: Coconut oil, diethanolamine condensate. Lauramide DEA: CAS No: 68603-42-9 . Other Names: coconut oil fatty acids, diethanolamide; n,n-bis(2-hydroxyethyl) coconut oil amide. "Used as a stabiliser in hair preparations, a surfactant in personal care products, use in colouring agents, epoxy hardener, drug medication, for manufacturing refined petroleum products and nuclear energy, as a food additive and preservative." - NICNAS. Related to: "MEA (monoethanolamide) and TEA (triethanolamine). Like DEA, they can react with other chemicals in cosmetics to form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Cocamide DEA was responsible for occupational allergic contact dermatitis" -


DEA is a semi-synthetic pH adjuster and wetting agent that is used to make foaming bath products like shampoos, body wash and soap. It is also commonly found in cosmetics such as creams, body lotions, face moisturisers and sunscreens as well as hair dyes, pet care, antistatic agents and household cleaning agents. "In Australia, the chemical is known to be used in washing and household cleaning products. Although the chemical was not reported to be used in cosmetics in the 2006" - NICNAS



  • "Cocamide DEA, or cocamide diethanolamine, is a diethanolamide made by reacting the mixture of fatty acids from coconut oils with diethanolamine." -

  • "The concentration of diethanolamide in these preparations ranged from 1 to 25%" - NCBI 1985

  • "Allergic reactions to eating coconut have been reported, but are relatively rare. By contrast, contact allergic dermatitis to coconut products is more common. Sensitisation to coconut pollen has been reported." -

  • "Like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), coconut diethanolamide can break down skin's oily barrier layer and dry it out, but certain people develop more intense allergic reactions to it. Since coconut diethanolamide is a common ingredient in skin care products such as barrier creams and hand protection foams, sensitizing can happen rapidly. You may begin to develop reactions after using a product for two or three months." -


Amina Kitching