• Derived from: coconut
  • Pronunciation: \ˈsō-dē-əm\ \ˌstē-ə-ˈroyl\ \ˈlak-ˌtlāt\
  • Type: Naturally-derived

What Is Sodium stearoyl lactylate?

Sodium stearoyl lactylate is a white or light yellow powder or a brittle solid with a characteristic smell.[1] It is a combination of sodium salts of stearoyl lactylic acids and minor proportions of sodium salts of related acids.[2] It is a plant-derived ingredient. Sodium stearoyl lactylate is used in hundreds of personal care and cosmetic products, including moisturizer, sunscreen, baby lotion, conditioner, foundation, body wash and other products.[3] It does not dissolve in water.[4]

What Does Sodium stearoyl lactylate Do in Our products?

In our products, sodium stearoyl lactylate is a moisturizer that helps the skin stay soft and pliable. However, it is also an effective, food-grade emulsifier, stabilizer and a surfactant.[5] As a result, it is a common food additive and dough strengthener often found in baked products, puddings, fillings, dips, gravies, liqueurs and other prepared foods.[6] It also has a sweet taste, which allows food manufacturers to add less sugar.[7]

Why Puracy Uses Sodium stearoyl lactylate

We use sodium stearoyl lactylate in several of our products as a moisturizer. Palm oil is a common substitute for this ingredient, but although palm oil is not harsh, it is an endangered resource. The FDA has deemed sodium stearoyl lactylate safe for use as a food additive, and Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[11,12,13] Further, the European Food Safety Authority has determined no reproductive or carcinogenic effects from ingestion.[14] Several studies, as well as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, have also deemed the ingredient safe.[15,16] Sodium stearoyl lactylate does not contain milk protein and thus need not be restricted by people avoiding milk.[17,18]

How Sodium stearoyl lactylate Is Made

Sodium stearoyl lactylate is manufactured by the reaction of lactic acid and stearic acid and conversion to sodium salts.[8] Typically, lactic acid — a naturally occurring substance — is neutralized with sodium or calcium hydroxide, and the excess water is distilled out. Stearic acid — also a naturally occurring substance found in animal and vegetable fats — is then added and esterification occurs. Water is again removed via distillation. Some manufacturers bleach the final product with hydrogen peroxide (the product is then heated to destroy excess peroxide).[9,10]



[1] National Institutes of Health
[2] Food and Drug Administration
[3] Environmental Working Group
[4] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
[5] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
[6] Food and Drug Administration
[7] Field, S., Why There’s Antifreeze in Your Toothpaste: The Chemistry of Household Ingredients. Chicago Review Press (2007) pp. 152
[8] Food and Drug Administration
[9] Hasenhuettl, G.L., Synthesis and Commercial Preparation of Food Emulsifiers. (2008) Springer Science + Business Media, LLC
[10] Whitehurst, R.J., Emulsifiers in Food Technology. John Wiley & Sons, (2008) pp. 208-214
[11] Whole Foods Market
[12] Food and Drug Administration
[13] Food and Drug Administration
[14] European Commission
[15] Center for Science in the Public Interest
[16] Lamb, J.; Hentz, K.; Schmitt, D.; Tran, N.; Jonker, D.; Junker,, K. (2010). "A one-year oral toxicity study of sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL) in rats". Food and Chemical Toxicology. 48 (10): 2663–2669
[17] Food Allergy Research & Education, Inc.
[18] National Food Service Management Institute 

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