Know Your Ingredients: Glyceryl Stearate

glyceryl stearate

What it is
Glyceryl Stearate (also called Glyceryl Monostearate) is a white or cream-coloured solid made from glycerin and stearic acid (a fatty acid obtained from animal and vegetable fats and oils).

What it does
Glyceryl Stearate is an emollient that softens and moisturizes skin and hair.
In addition, Glyceryl Stearate is used as a thickening agent.

Side effects
Glyceryl Stearate is a very mild irritant and can cause allergic reactions.

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  1. beautifulwithbrains says

    Dao, sometimes the most common ingredients are the most overlooked too, but it’s still useful to know what they’re doing. I’m glad you were right about it too :)

  2. says

    Glyceryl stearate is really just an emulsifer. It doesn’t really do much of any of the other things you are suggesting here. It is also very very unlikely to cause much in the way of allergic reactions at the levels it is normally used at.
    Colin´s last blog post ..Benzyl AlcoholMy Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Colin, thanks for your comment. The Cosmetics Cop and state that Glyceryl Stearate is also an emollient, skin lubricant and thickener so that’s why I included those functions in the post. I guess it’s used mainly as an emulsifier and just sometimes for other reasons, then.

      I agree with you that there really isn’t much chance of it causing a negative reaction but I thought I would point that out for people whose skin is very sensitive and gets irritated easily.

      • Johanna says

        That happened to me. I used a product containing glyceral stearate 3 times on my hands. I developed redness and itching. It took 4 days of a 1% steroid cream to alleviate the problem.

  3. Beti says

    Beautifulwithbrains, than you for covering all the basis. I am one of those with sensitive skin and a ‘natural’ deodorant product I’m using works good, but it irritates my skin. It could be any of the ingredients but Glyceryl Sterate was the first one I investigated.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Beti, you’re welcome. I’m sorry the deodorant you’re using is irritating your skin. I hope you can figure out what the culprit is.

    • Gio says

      Erika, frankly I don’t know what the best ingredients for making candles are because I never made them myself. I don’t think I have ever seen this one in any candles though.

    • Gio says

      Marci, glad you find this post helpful. Alcloxa is used to induce a tightening or tingling sensation of the skin, but can cause irritation in some people, especially those with sensitive skin.

  4. Tad says

    A skin cream I was using to mosturize my skin recently added glyceryl stearate to the ingredients list. I didn’t even know that they had added it until I went to purchase a refill since I was getting low. Well once I switched to the new jar that had glycerol stearate in it, my skin started breaking out. Itching, hives, and puffy redness. Luckily I was able to find some existing stock of the older product that didn’t have the glycerol stearate in it and I bought all of it. When i went back to using the product without the glycerol stearate all the symtoms went away. Then one day after cleaning and organizing my house, I accidentally dipped in to the jar of the newer product that I had set aside, the stuff that has the glycerol stearate in it, and sure enough, within an hour hives, redness, and puffyness everywhere that I applied the cream. Needless to say I threw that jar away the very same day haha. From now on though I’m definitely checking ingredients lists for this stuff. My skin can’t tolerate it.

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