what is sodium stearate

Sodium Stearate

What is sodium stearate? Is sodium stearate natural? Discover how this common ingredient is used in skin care, deodorant, and much more.
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What Is Sodium Stearate?

  • Derived from: Coconut
  • Pronunciation: \ˈsō-dē-əm\ \ˌstēr-ate\
  • Type: Naturally-derived

Derived from edible fats (e.g. coconut, palm), sodium stearate is an incredibly common fatty acid salt.[1] It can be found in a dry white powder, liquid, pellets, and even wet solids. Sodium stearate can be used to provide rich white lather in personal care products and hardening substances like deodorant.

When in an aqueous solution, it is considered alkaline while in an alcohol solution, it is considered neutral.[2]

How Is Sodium Stearate Made?

Sodium stearate is made by reacting stearic acid with sodium hydroxide. When saponified (i.e. converting fats and oils into soap and alcohol), sodium stearate is produced.[1]

Note: Plant-based triglycerides are often sourced from coconut and palm while animal triglycerides are sourced from tallow. Puracy is a 100% cruelty-free company and pledges never to use palm or animal by-products.

Sodium Stearate Uses

Sodium stearate in skin care is typically used to thicken, lubricate, control viscosity, and keep ingredients from separating.[1,4,] It is often found in deodorant, toothpaste, soap, makeup, body wash, facial cleanser, shampoo, and hair coloring.[1,5]

Sodium stearate is also used as a binder and anti-caking agent in food products.

Is Sodium Stearate Safe?

The EWG has determined that the ingredient is safe for use in cosmetics when it's formulated to be non-irritating and non-sensitizing.[6] The Environmental Protection Agency has placed the ingredient on its Safer Chemical Ingredients List.[7] Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[8]


is sodium stearate safe


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