Ingredient: Glyceryl Stearate

INCI: Glyceryl Stearate

Sources: Derived from Palm Kernel, Vegetable or Soy Oil

Our rating: GOOD

What is Glyceryl Stearate?

Glyceryl stearate is a white or cream-colored waxy solid, the product of an esterification reaction of glycerin and stearic acid. Naturally found in the human body, glyceryl stearate is widely used as an emollient and emulsifier in skincare products such as makeup bases and foundations, mascara and eye shadows, lotions and creams, hair conditioners and sunscreens.

Benefits of Glyceryl Stearate:

Glyceryl stearate slows down the transepidermal water loss from the skin by forming a film on the skin’s surface. This helps to maintain the moisture balance needed for the skin to be healthy and lubricates the skin’s surface to give it a soft and smooth appearance. It has also been shown to protect the skin from free radical damage. Its ability to penetrate the skin allows for better topical delivery of other ingredients present in a product formulation.

Immensely mild with a low skin irritant profile, glyceryl stearate is used to stabilize products by ensuring that the water and the oil phases of the formulation do not separate. The compound is also used to make products freeze-resistant by preventing surface crusts from forming.

Safety & Toxicity:

The Environmental Working Group database gives glyceryl stearate a 0 risk rating as it does not pose any bioaccumulation hazard to body organs or safety risk to the environment. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists it as a generally recognized as a safe ingredient for cosmetics.

Editor’s Note:

Glyceryl stearate is an eco-friendly raw material made from hydrolyzing a suitable oil feedstock.  The process uses renewable resources, is not energy-intensive and produces a substance that is biodegradable and not toxic.