Polyhydroxystearic Acid Good Suspending/dispersing agent No known benefits Polyhydroxystearic Acid at a glance Often used to coat mineral sunscreen active ingredients to help them disperse evenly Other roles in skin care include emulsion stabiliser, film-former, and texture-enhancing thickener Helps makeup pigments distribute more cohesively Soft, pliable wax that is light tan to brown in color, derived from castor oil Polyhydroxystearic Acid description Polyhydroxystearic acid plays various roles in cosmetic formulas, including functioning as a suspending agent, emulsion stabiliser, film-former, and texture-enhancing thickener. This plant-derived or synthetic ingredient is often used to coat mineral sunscreen actives to help them disperse evenly. Suppliers of polyhydroxystearic acid also claim that it helps increase UV absorption and can reduce the white cast that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide leave behind. In makeup, polyhydroxystearic acid helps pigments distribute more cohesively. In lotions and creams, it adds emolliency. As a raw material, polyhydroxystearic acid is described as a soft, pliable wax that is light tan to brown in color, derived from castor oil.