Glycol distearate is a compound based on stearic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid.
Function(s): Opacifying Agent; Skin-Conditioning Agent - Occlusive; Viscosity Increasing Agent -Nonaqueous; Emollient; Emulsifying; Skin Conditioning; Viscosity Controlling
Other names: 1,2-Ethanediyl Ester Octadecanoic Acid; Ethylene Dioctadecanoate; Ethylene Distearate; Ethylene Ester Stearic Acid; Ethylene Glycol Distearate; Octadecanoic Acid, 1,2-Ethanediyl Ester; Octadecanoic Acid, 1,2Ethanediyl Ester; Stearic Acid, Ethylene Ester
Developmental & reproductive toxicity: ○○○○○○○○○○○○
Allergies & immunotoxicity:
Natural or synthetic?
Natural & Synthetic
What Is It?
Glycol Stearate, Glycol Stearate SE, and Glycol Distearate are white to cream-colored waxy solids. All three ingredients are mixtures of mono- and diesters of ethylene glycol and stearic acid. Glycol Stearate and Glycol Sterate SE are predominantly the monoester, while Glycol Distearate is predominantly the diester. Glycol Stearate SE is a self-emulsifying grade of Glycol Stearate that contains some sodium and/or potassium stearate. In cosmetics and personal care products, Glycol Stearate, Glycol Stearate SE, and Glycol Distearte may be used to formulate a wide varitey of products including bubble baths, makeup, as well as hair, skin and nail care products.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
The following functions have been reported for Glycol Stearate, Glycol Stearate SE and Glycol Distearate.
Emulsion stabilizer - Glycol Stearate
Opacifying agent - Glycol Stearate, Glycol Distearate
Skin conditioning agent - emollient - Glycol Stearate
Skin conditioning agent - occulsive - Glycol Distearate
Surfactant - emulsifying agent - Glycol Stearate SE
Viscosity increasing agent - nonaqueous - Glycol Distearate
The safety of Glycol Stearate, Glycol Stearate SE and Glycol Distearate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Glycol Stearate, Glycol Stearate SE, and Glycol Distearate were safe as cosmetic ingredients in the present practices of use and concentration. In 2001, as part of the scheduled re-evaluation of ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Glycol Stearate, Glycol Stearate SE and Glycol Distearate and reaffirmed the above conclusion.
More safety Information:
CIR Safety Review: Studies of acute oral toxicity, skin and eye irritation and sensitization show that Glycol Stearate has low acute toxicity. A repeated insult patch test with 50% Glycol Distearate presented no evidence of skin irritation or hypersensitivity.
Human studies using formulations containing Glycol Stearate reported no skin irritation or sensitization. When made from plants, Glycol Stearate, Glycol Stearate SE, and Glycol Distearate may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union. Ingredients of animal origin must comply with the European animal by-products regulations.
Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: