Glyceryl stearate

Glyceryl stearate

Learn all about glyceryl stearate, including how it's made, and why Puracy uses glyceryl stearate in our products.
  • Derived from: coconut
  • Pronunciation: (\ˈglis-rəl\ \stē-ə-ˌrāt\)
  • Type: Naturally-derived
  • Other names: monostearate

What Is Glyceryl stearate?

Glyceryl stearate, also called glyceryl monostearate, is a white or pale yellow waxy substance derived from palm kernel, olives, or coconuts.

What Does Glyceryl stearate Do in Our products?

Glyceryl stearate is an emollient that keeps products blended together; it can also be a surfactant, emulsifier, and thickener in food — often it’s used as a dough conditioner and to keep things from going stale.[1] In our products, however, glyceryl stearate is used for its most common purpose — to bind moisture to the skin. For this reason, it is a common ingredient in thousands of cosmetic products, including lotions, makeup, skin cleansers, and other items.[2,3]

Why Puracy Uses Glyceryl stearate

We use glyceryl stearate in several of our products as a moisturizer; it also forms a barrier on the skin and prevents products from feeling greasy. As an emulsifier, it also allows products to stay blended.[5] Several studies and clinical tests find that glyceryl stearate causes little or no skin or eye irritation and is not a danger in formulations that might be inhaled.[6,7,8] In addition, a number of clinical trials have found that glyceryl stearate in moisturizers can lessen symptoms and signs of atopic dermatitis, including pruritus, erythema, fissuring, and lichenification.[9] In 1982 and again in 2015, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review deemed the ingredient safe for use in cosmetics.[10] Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[11]

How Glyceryl stearate Is Made

Glyceryl stearate is formed through a reaction of glycerin with stearic acid, which is a fatty acid that comes from animal and vegetable fats and oils. Glyceryl stearate SE, the self-emulsifying form of the substance, is made by reacting an excess of stearic acid with glycerin. The excess stearic acid is then reacted with potassium and/or sodium hydroxide. That produces a substance that contains glyceryl stearate, potassium stearate, and/or sodium stearate.[4]



[1] Personal Care Council
[2] Personal Care Council
[6] Elder RL (ed). “Final report on the safety assessment of glyceryl stearate and glyceryl stearate/SE,” Journal of the American College of Toxicology. 1982;1(4):169-192
[7] Bárány E, Lindberg M, and Lodén M. “Unexpected skin barrier influence from nonionic emulsifiers,” International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2-15- 2000;195(1-2):189-195
[8] Personal Care Council
[9] Food and Drug Administration
[10] Personal Care Council
[11] Whole Foods Market