Glyceryl Stearate



Glyceryl Stearate at a glance

  • Found naturally in the human body
  • In its raw form is a white or cream-colored wax-like solid
  • Functions as an emollient, surfactant, and an emulsifier
  • Deemed safe within its typical usage levels of 1–10%

Glyceryl Stearate description

Glyceryl stearate is a mixture of portions of glycerine and stearic acid. While it’s found naturally in the human body and can be animal-derived, most glyceryl stearate used in cosmetics is plant-derived (such as from olive oil or coconut) or produced synthetically. In its raw form it is a white or cream-colored wax-like solid. Glyceryl stearate functions as an emollient, surfactant, and emulsifier in skin care products. Its emulsifying properties are highly versatile, making it a valuable and gentle addition to several types of emulsions, such as oil-in-water or water-in-oil, where it helps support the benefits of skin-replenishing ingredients such as ceramides and fatty acids. Its moisturising properties help skin look and feel softer and smoother. It also forms a barrier on skin, helping prevent water loss. In addition, glyceryl stearate is used as a food additive. The Cosmetics Ingredient Review Panel has found glyceryl stearate to be safe within its typical usage levels of 1–10%. Studies have also shown it to be non-sensitizing, and plant-derived glyceryl stearate is allowed for use in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe.

Glyceryl Stearate references

  •, Accessed November 2021, ePublication
  • Drugs in Context, April 2018, pages 1-14
  • International Journal of Toxicology, May 2007, pages 1–30

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.