What is it?

Trolamine salicylate (Aspercreme, Aspergel ) is an organic compound which is the salt formed between triethanolamine and salicylic acid. It is used as an ingredient in sunscreens, analgesic creams, and cosmetics. The salicylic acid portion contributes to both the sun protection effect (by absorbing UVB radiation) and to the analgesic effect. The triethanolamine neutralizes the acidity of the salicylic acid. – Wikipedia

Trolamine salicylate side effects

This substance belongs to the groups:

This ingredient is also known by the name TEA salicylate.


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers as of 2019 that trolamine salicylate is not “generally regarded as safe and effective” (GRASE) when used in sunscreen products.

The FDA has reviewed the findings regarding the safety of trolamine salicylate and has concluded that the risks do not outweigh the benefit.

When using trolamine salicylate in sunscreen, it has the probability of causing “serious detrimental health effects, including bleeding”. 

There are also findings that the chemical is easily absorbed by the skin and persist in underlying tissue.


Trolamine salicylate, tea salicylate, is a salt of salicylic acid. It is together with the other salicylic acid salts, restricted for use in cosmetics in the EU.

Except for shampoos, it is not allowed to be used in products for children under 3 years old.

The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has also classified the chemical as causing eye irritation.

Trolamine salicylate products and uses

As mentioned above, this ingredient is used in sunscreen products where it works as a UVB light absorber.

However, trolamine salicylate is also used in other kinds of cosmetics, often as a preservative.

Is trolamine salicylate aspirin?

Almost, it is the active ingredient in some pain relief creams, so-called topical pain reliefs.  One of trolamine salicylate brand name is aspercreme.

It is used in these creams as trolamine salicylate is anti-inflammatory.

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”.

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