2D structural formula of Dimethylaminopropylamine


What is it?

“Dimethylaminopropylamine (aka “DMAPA”) is a diamine used in the preparation of some surfactants, such as cocamidopropyl betaine. It has the chemical formula C5H14N2.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has registered that dimethylaminopropylamine “causes severe skin burns, is a flammable liquid and vapour, is harmful if swallowed, may cause an allergic skin reaction, and may cause respiratory irritation.”

Curious Chloride’s scanner will also highlight and tag the substance cocamidopropyl betaine (CPBA) as dimethylaminopropylamine. This is technically not correct but the negative effects some experience with cocamidopropyl betaine are largely due to that it contains dimethylaminopropylamine.

This substances contains amines and can form toxic nitrosamines in products.


Even though it is not listed on the list of ingredients, products with toluene-2,5-diamine may contain impurities from:

  • Nitrosamines –  Linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, organ system toxicity, and is prohibited to use in cosmetics in the EU and Canada.

How is it used?

Dimethylaminopropylamine is used as a surfactant (lowers the surface tension and helps with even distribution of the cosmetic) and cleansing agent in cosmetic products.

The substance can be found in cosmetics* like shampoos, soaps, makeup, and other similar products.

Cocamidopropyl betaine, containing dimethylaminopropylamine, is common to find in both conventional and natural beauty products.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

Read about the other ingredients.


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