Sarcosine at a glance

  • Natural amino acid found in the body
  • A synthetic derivative is what’s used in skin care to condition/soften skin
  • Plays a role in enhancing the penetration of the other ingredients
  • May help diminish the impact UV light exposure has on skin’s surface
  • Considered safe and non-irritating

Sarcosine description

A synthetic amino acid derivative that functions as a skin conditioning and oil-control agent and may play a role in enhancing the penetration of other ingredients. Research has shown that sarcosine can help minimise the impact UV light exposure has on skin’s surface, so you may find it included in various types of sunscreen. It’s considered non-sensitizing.

Sarcosine references

  • Meyler’s Side Effects of Drugs, 2016, page 310
  • Journal of Controlled Release, January 2013, pages 91-100
  • International Journal of Toxicology, July-August 2012, pages 358-363
  • Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, January 2007, pages 155-161

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.