Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate



Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate at a glance

  • Blend of stearic acid and glycerin derivative
  • Primarily used as an emulsifier
  • Has emollient properties for skin
  • May be synthetic or animal-derived

Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate description

Polyglyceryl-2 stearate is the ester of humectant diglycerin and the fatty acid stearic acid. It is used in cosmetics for its emulsifying, surfactant, and emollient properties. The primary use of polyglyceryl-2 stearate in cosmetics is emulsifying. In this role, it negates the need to use greater amounts of heavier-feeling emulsifiers while also improving sensory aesthetics of the product. This ingredient may be synthetic (the type Paula’s Choice uses) or animal derived. Use levels of polyglyceryl-2 stearate in cosmetics range from 1–5%, depending on whether it’s the primary or secondary emulsifying agent, sometimes referred to as a co-emulsifier.

Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate references

  • International Journal of Toxicology, August 2023, pages 5S–101S
  • Scientific Reports, March 2023, pages 1–14
  • Cosmetic Ingredient Review, Accessed December 2023

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.