Toxic Chemicals Cocamide DEA, TEA & MEA
2.21.12

TOXIC TUESDAY INGREDIENT FOCUS: Cocamide DEA, TEA & MEA

WHAT IS IT? It is a viscous liquid, made by reacting the mixture of fatty acids from coconut oils with diethanolamine. It is used as a foaming and emulsifying agent to help thicken shampoo, body wash and facial cleansers. It offers no benefits to the skin!

HEALTH RISK: These three are hormone-disrupting chemicals & may form cancer-causing agents. They have been linked to miscarriages and inhibiting fetal brain development. They are easily absorbed by the skin and research indicates a strong link to liver and kidney cancer. There is also evidence that carcinogens form when Cocamide DEA is applied to the skin and in reaction with other ingredients.


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  1. how about TEA ,MEA ? can it cause cancer too?

    midori | 08.09.2012 | Reply
  2. I am a vegetarian and use natural and irganic products, i bought a shampoo a condition a whole food, i am a cosmetologist, so i used a lot of shampoo and condition and color, i wanted to try a natural shampoo but was surprised it contain cocamide mea? Why do they have to use it in natural shampoo if it is that bad? Should i mention it a whole food?

    Sylvette | 10.06.2013 | Reply
  3. it was only a thaught,but ever since i have used a shampoo and conditioner with cocamide i have developed bald spots
    at the back of my head but i believe the shampoo and conditioner caused it,never suffered anything like this previously

  4. I have been having breakouts on my scalp and couldn’t fiqure out why could it be that I am using a shampoo with cocamide mea in it?

    • Could be…try switching and see if you notice a difference after a few weeks! It might take a while for your scalp to adjust, but you very may well see a difference after!

      The Chalkboard | 03.18.2014 | Reply

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