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Cocamide DEA/MEA

Nasty Ingredients
Cocamide DEA/MEA

Cocamide DEA/MEA

Cocamide DEA is an ingredient used in many personal care products to enhance and stabilise foam formationii. It is a skin eye and respiratory tract irritantiii and is classified as 'possibly carcinogenic to humans' by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer)iv. Cocamide DEA is made from the reaction of coconut oil and Diethanolamine. It is this DEA which is a cause for concern as it can be present it its free un-reacted form as an impurity in Cocamide DEA solutionsv, as well as have the ability to form highly carcinogenic nitrosaminesvi.


ii) Fascinating Silicone™ Chemistry - How Silicone Foam Stabilizers Work - Dow Corning

iii) Cocamide DEA - MSDS- Spectrum

iv) Agents Classified by the IARC Monographs

v) Coconut Oil Diethanolamine Condensate

vi) Opinion on Nitrosamines and Secondary Amines in Cosmetic Products

INCI Name:
Cocamide DEA
Ingredient origins:
Coconut Fruit, Hydrocarbons
Emulsion Stabiliser, Foam Boosting Agent, Surfactant, Viscosity Modifying Agent
Common name:
Cocamide DEA
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.
5 - 7 (depends on usage)