Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate



No known benefits

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate at a glance

  • Stabilises the water phase of formulas that contain hydrating ingredients
  • Works via its interaction with proteins and starches, where it can also help modify a product’s texture
  • Often classified as a surfactant/emulsifying agent
  • Described as a white to pale yellow waxy substance in its raw material form

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate description

Sodium stearoyl lactylate is a synthetic or animal-derived ingredient (Paula’s Choice Skincare uses the former) that stabilises the water phase of moisturisers and other skin care products that contain hydrating ingredients. Sodium stearoyl lactylate works via its interaction with proteins and starches, where it can also help modify a product’s texture. It is often classified as a surfactant/emulsifying agent. As a raw material, sodium stearoyl lactylate is described as a white to pale yellow waxy substance. The 2019 Cosmetic Ingredient Review assessment of sodium stearoyl lactylate deemed it to be a safe cosmetic ingredient in the practises of use and concentrations described in their report. They surveyed 358 products using between 0.00011-7% concentration.

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate references

  • Cosmetic Ingredient Review, July 2019, pages 1-22
  • Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, December 2016, pages 393-404

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.