Mannose at a glance

  • Monosaccharide (simple sugar) derived from glucose
  • Helps skin retain and attract moisture
  • Promotes a dewy, plump skin look
  • The CIR Expert Panel deemed safe as used in cosmetics

Mannose description

Mannose is a monosaccharide and epimer (an optical isomer, or an asymmetric molecule capable of existing in two different forms) of glucose. It offers humectant benefits when applied topically. Its humectant abilities mean it assists skin in the retention and attraction of water to skin’s surface. This hydration allows skin to maintain balance, giving it a plump, dewy appearance. Humectants like mannose are commonly included in leave-on products like moisturizers, serums and eye creams. Mannose is naturally occurring in the human body and an integral aspect of the human metabolism process. Beyond this, mannose is regularly used in the food, health and medical industries. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel deemed mannose as safe for use in cosmetics in percentages up to 5%.

Mannose references

  • Frontiers in Immunology, February 2022, ePublication
  • International Journal of Toxicology, May-June 2019, pages 5S-38S
  • Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, May 2016, pages 773-785

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