Ingredient: Stearic Acid

INCI: Stearic Acid

Sources:  Animal and Vegetable Fats and Oils.

Our rating: GOOD

What is Stearic Acid?

Stearic acid is derived from natural sources and not produced in industrial settings, making it a good alternative to chemical ingredients in natural skincare. It is used in a variety of cosmetics and personal care products as a fragrance ingredient, surfactant and emulsifier. The human body has the ability to synthesize stearic acid which is used in the production of hormones that regulate a variety of functions, including blood pressure, blood clotting and immune response.

Benefits of Stearic Acid:

Stearic acid is used in the bath industry for its cleansing properties. It acts as a surfactant by lowering the surface tension of oil and dirt present on the skin. A lower surface tension allows water to combine with oil and dirt molecules and removes sweat, dirt and excess sebum from the skin and hair. The acid also provides an effective occlusive film around the skin, to prevent moisture loss.

The acid also helps to combine the water and oil phase during formulation to form a lotion, cream, or any liquid cosmetic. Products containing stearic acid require less shaking before use and remain strongly effective even when stored for lengthy periods.

Safety & Toxicity:

Stearic Acid is a mild ingredient when used at concentrations below the safe limit and has been generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for cosmetics by the Food and Drug Administration. Using above the recommended safe limit can lead to concerns about neurotoxicity, organ toxicity and skin irritation.

Editor’s Note:

The recommended mean dietary intake of stearic acid through meats and vegetable oil/ butter is 5.7 g per day for women and 8.2 g per day for men.