Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate



Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate at a glance

  • May be plant-derived or synthetic
  • Ester of a polymer of glycerine and lauric acid, present in coconut or palm oils
  • Works as an emollient, emulsifier, and cleansing agent
  • Deemed a non-irritant and safe as used in cosmetics

Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate description

A plant-derived or synthetic ester of a polymer of glycerine (known as polylglycerin-4) and lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid that can be found in coconut or palm oils. This versatile ingredient works as an emollient, emulsifier, and a mild cleansing agent (surfactant). The safety assessment of this ingredient shows that it can also serve as a penetration enhancer; for example, it can improve ceramide penetration into skin. According to one of its suppliers, in its raw form it is a clear or yellow syrupy liquid. Polyglyceryl-4 laurate is considered safe as used in cosmetics by the independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review board and is considered to be a non-irritant. Typical concentration ranges are from 5–10%, although lower amounts may be used if necessary or if this ingredient is part of a blend.

Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate references

  • Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, December 2021, pages 6188-6195
  • European Journal of Biopharmaceutics, September 2012, pages 139-150
  • https://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/polyglyceryl%20fatty%20acid.pdf
  • http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/polyglyceryl%20fatty%20acid.pdf

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