Maltodextrin at a glance

  • Plant-based sugar
  • Serves as an absorbent and binding agent
  • Also acts as a stabilizer, film-forming agent, + skin softener
  • Ruled safe as used in cosmetics

Maltodextrin description

Maltodextrin is a plant-based sugar created by hydrolyzing a saccharide with starch from corn, potato, or rice. Maltodextrin does many things in cosmetic products, including absorbent, binding agent, stabilizer, film-forming agent, and skin-softener. It has been ruled safe as used in skin care products. Typical usage levels are between 1–2%.

Maltodextrin references

  • Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, September 2016, pages 2,091-2,100

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.