Tribehenin at a glance

  • Mixture of glycerine + behenic acid that helps prevent moisture loss and conditions skin/hair
  • May also be used as an occlusive agent and “gloss aid for cosmetics”
  • Can be plant-derived or synthetic
  • Deemed safe as a cosmetic ingredient

Tribehenin description

Tribehenin is a mixture of skin-replenishing glycerine and a fatty acid known as behenic acid that conditions skin and helps prevent moisture loss. Suppliers of this soft wax-like ingredient also suggest it works as an occlusive agent and “gloss aid for cosmetics.” Additionally, it functions as a hair conditioning agent. Tribehenin can be plant-derived or synthetic. The 2017 Cosmetic Ingredient Review assessment of tribehenin looked at personal care products containing 0.002–15% and deemed it was safe in this concentration range.

Tribehenin references

  • Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, October 2021, ePublication
  • Cosmetic Ingredient Review, April 2017, pages 1-132
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2016, ePublication
  • International Journal of Toxicology, January 2001, pages 61-94

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.