Glyceryl Stearate SE

EWG level: 1

This is a lipid used as a surface-active and emulsifying agent. Glyceryl Stearate and Glyceryl Stearate SE are esterification products of glycerin and stearic acid. Glyceryl Stearate is a white or cream-colored wax-like solid. Glyceryl Stearate SE is a “Self-Emulsifying” form of Glyceryl Stearate that also contains a small amount of sodium and or potassium stearate. It is produced by reacting an excess of stearic acid with glycerin. The excess stearic acid is then reacted with potassium and/or sodium hydroxide yielding a product that contains Glyceryl Stearate as well as potassium stearate and/or sodium stearate. In cosmetics and personal care products, Glyceryl Stearate is widely used and can be found in lotions, creams, powders, skin cleansing products, makeup bases and foundations, mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, hair conditioners and rinses, and suntan and sunscreen products. Glyceryl Stearate acts as a lubricant on the skin’s surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance. It also slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface. Glyceryl Stearate, and Glyceryl Stearate SE help to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified.

Its functions are: sulfactant, emulsifying

“Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful” (Environment Canada Domestic Substance List)

No ecological concerns, “designed as safe for general or specific, limited use in food” (FDA Food Additive Status)

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