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Inositol at a glance

  • Major component of fatty acid lecithin
  • Also known as myo-inositol and d-chiro inositol
  • Produced in the body, where it assists many healthy processes
  • Not a vitamin, but sometimes lumped in with the B vitamin group.

Inositol description

Inositiol is a vitamin-like ingredient that’s one of the main components of the skin-beneficial fatty acid lecithin. It’s in the same chemical category as glycerin, so it has some of that ingredient’s hydrating properties and assists with maintaining skin’s firmness. Inositol is typically sourced from plants such as corn and beets but can also be lab-made. In the body, inositol is a precursor molecule that assists in several biological processes, including the formation of living skin cells (keratinocytes). Within the body and on skin, inositol helps balance the concentrations of water and salt and boost the stability of fatty acids.

Inositol references

  • Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists of Korea, December 2020, Volume 45, Issue 4
  • International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists, November 2020, Volume 23, Number 3
  • Frontiers in Pharmacology, Volume 10, October 2019, ePublication
  • Comparative Medicine, February 2011, pages 39–44

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.