Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate: What Is It, Cosmetic Uses & Side Effects

This article was last updated on: June 16, 2023

Navigating the world of personal care products, be it skincare or hair care, can often feel overwhelming and complex, especially when it comes to deciphering the seemingly endless list of ingredients found on product labels. For many of us with limited knowledge of the science behind these formulations, understanding the purpose and potential impact of each ingredient can seem almost impossible.

One such ingredient that might have caught your eye on the back of your favorite cosmetic product is Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate. Admittedly, it’s quite a mouthful, but don’t let the name intimidate you.

In this article, we’ll delve deep into the realm of Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, uncovering its properties, uses in cosmetics, and any potential side effects you might want to be aware of.

What is Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate?

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, also known as Trisodium EDDS, is a chelating agent used in cosmetic and personal care product formulations. Derived from the fermentation of Thermus Thermophillus, it serves to bind and neutralize metal ions that could compromise the stability and efficacy of the product. This process helps extend the product’s shelf life, maintain the desired pH levels, and improve the overall performance of the formulation.

While Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is not typically available as a stand-alone ingredient for purchase, it is commonly found as a component of broader ingredient formulations within skincare and hair care products. The concentration of this ingredient in these products may vary depending on the formulation’s specific goal and blend of components.

Who Can Use Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate?

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is generally considered safe and suitable for most skin types, including sensitive, dry, oily, and combination skin. Its chelating properties help balance and stabilize the product and are unlikely to cause irritation or adverse reactions on the skin.

As this ingredient is derived from the fermentation of a non-animal microorganism, it is compatible with both vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate does not contain animal-derived materials, making it a cruelty-free choice for those pursuing ethical and sustainable skincare options.

When it comes to pregnant or breastfeeding women, there are no known contraindications or warnings associated with the use of products containing Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate. However, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist regarding product usage during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate’s Cosmetic Uses

As a chelating agent, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate offers several benefits when incorporated into cosmetic and personal care formulations. Here are some of its key uses:

  • Stabilization of formulations: By binding and neutralizing metal ions present in the product, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate helps maintain formula stability and efficiency. Metal ions, such as calcium and magnesium, can lead to product degradation, resulting in changes in texture, color, odor, and efficacy. Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate eliminates these issues by forming stable complexes with the metal ions, allowing the product to remain fresh and effective over time.
  • Preservation of desired pH levels: The presence of metal ions can also cause fluctuations in a product’s pH level. This can interfere with the performance of various ingredients, which often rely on a specific pH range to operate effectively. Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate aids in maintaining the optimal pH environment, ensuring that the active ingredients in the formulation deliver the desired results.
  • Enhanced foaming properties: In products that have a foaming function, such as shampoos, body washes, and facial cleansers, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate can improve the lathering and foam consistency. By neutralizing metal ions that could hinder the foaming process, it allows the foam-forming ingredients to function optimally, leading to a richer, more luxurious lather.
  • Improved ingredient performance: Some ingredients in cosmetic formulations, especially actives such as antioxidants and acids, can be negatively affected by the presence of metal ions, leading to reduced efficacy. Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate enhances the performance of these ingredients by eliminating the metal ions, thus maximizing the effectiveness of the overall formulation.

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate Potential Side Effects

Before diving into the potential side effects of Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, it’s essential to understand that individual reactions to ingredients can vary significantly. This variation is primarily due to differences in skin type, sensitivity, and individual biology. To better understand how your skin may react, it’s helpful to find your skin type and consult with a dermatologist or skincare expert.

Some potential side effects and interactions associated with Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate may include:

  • Irritation: Though uncommon, some individuals may experience skin irritation or redness when using products containing Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, particularly if they have sensitive skin or existing allergies.
  • Allergic Reaction: In rare cases, those with an allergy to Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate may experience an allergic reaction to the ingredient, such as hives, itching, or rash.

If you experience any of these side effects while using a product containing Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, you should discontinue use immediately and consult with a healthcare professional, dermatologist, or allergist for further guidance.

It’s important to note that adverse reactions to Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate are relatively rare, and, in general, the ingredient is considered safe and effective for use in cosmetic and personal care products.

To ensure the best possible experience with new skincare products, it’s always wise to perform a patch test before incorporating them into your daily routine. This helps determine if your skin may react negatively to the product and can help prevent potential irritation or allergic reactions. For a detailed guide on how to properly execute a patch test, refer to this patch testing guide.

Comedogenic Rating

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate has a comedogenic rating of 0. This rating means that it is considered non-comedogenic and unlikely to clog pores or contribute to acne formation. The reason for this low rating is that this ingredient serves primarily as a chelating agent, stabilizing and enhancing the overall formulation without directly interacting with the skin or impacting its functions. Therefore, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is considered suitable for those who are prone to acne or breakouts, as it is unlikely to exacerbate these conditions.


In the realm of personal care products, it’s important to recognize that not all ingredients have a direct, visible impact on the skin. Some components, like Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, play more of a supportive role, contributing to the overall formulation’s stability and efficacy by ensuring other active ingredients can perform at their best.

Although Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate might not be the star ingredient in your favorite skincare product, its beneficial properties make it a valuable addition to many formulations. By understanding the function, benefits, and potential side effects of this non-active ingredient, consumers can make informed decisions about the products they choose and how they may affect their skin.

Ultimately, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is a beneficial ingredient with a crucial role to play in the world of cosmetics and personal care. By enhancing formula stability and extending product shelf life, it helps ensure that the active ingredients in these products deliver the desired results and contribute to healthy, beautiful skin.

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