Raffinose at a glance

  • Trisaccharide composed of galactose, glucose, and fructose
  • Found in plants and vegetables like cabbage, beans and broccoli
  • Attracts and binds moisture to skin
  • Hydrates and balances, giving skin a plump, healthy look

Raffinose description

Raffinose is a high molecular weight trisaccharide (a type of oligosaccharide or complex sugar) found in plants that’s utilized in cosmetics for its hydration benefits. It’s made up of galactose, glucose and fructose. Its large molecule size keeps it from penetrating past skin’s surface. Like many other saccharides, raffinose’s skin hydration benefits come from its humectant properties, drawing water to skin and then assisting skin in holding onto that moisture in a balanced fashion. Through this process, raffinose helps hydrate, resulting in plump, healthy-looking skin. Research suggests that raffinose, when applied topically, can help visibly improve skin that’s prone to psoriasis and eczema. However, further research is needed on raffinose’s abilities to earn a strong recommendation for these conditions. At the time of writing this entry, usage levels for raffinose in cosmetics have not been established. However, it is not known to pose a safety or irritation risk for skin.

Raffinose references

  • IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, February 2022, ePublication
  • PubChem, Accessed November 2022, webpage
  • Scientific Reports, March 2017, ePublication

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.