What Is Stearic Acid In Skincare?

Stearic Acid

Stearic acid is an acid that pops up everywhere in the skincare world. Whether in soaps or cosmetics, stearic acid has a critical function in emulsifying and managing formulation weight and textures. Read on to find out a little more about stearic acid and where it comes from:

What is stearic acid in skincare?

Stearic Acid is a long-chain fatty acid present in various animal and plant fats. As an example, a major constituent of cocoa butter and shea butter is stearic acid[1]. When isolated it is a white solid with a mild odor which floats on water like most fats.

Stearic acid is most commonly found in cleansers and soaps where it works as an emollient and emulsifier. This means it helps to bind these products together, and alters the texture to the manufacturers liking.

Stearic acid can also help to reduce trans-epidermal water loss on the skin by providing a protective barrier. This is especially good for dry skin sufferers. Stearic acid can also bind to dirt and other pollutants on the skin which can then be washed away.

References

[1] https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Stearic-acid#:~:text=Description%3A,solid%20with%20a%20mild%20odor.