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Sorbitan Stearate

SoapGoods Inc
Price in points: 803 points
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About Sorbitan Stearate


  • Synonyms: Sorbitan Stearate, Sorbitan, monooctadecanoate, Sorbitan Monostearate; Anhydrosorbitol Stearate, D-Glucitol, Sorbitan
  • INCI Name: Sorbitan monostearate
  • CAS: 1338-41-6
  • Einecs: 215-664-9

The Science

  • Viscosity: Solid
  • Solublity: Soluble in hot water
  • Storage: Cool, dark dry area, air tight container preferred


  • Appearance: waxy powder, odorless
  • Odor: Low to no odor
  • Natural: derived from vegetable sources
  • Packaging: 1 Lbs is a single plastic bag, 3 Lb is a single plastic bag, 12 lb is 4 x 3 lb bags, 50 lb is single bag
  • Shelf life: Suggested retest date 1 year from purchase

Usage / Benefits

  • Industries: Food Industry, Cosmetics and Personal Care Industry, Pharmaceutical Industry, Industrial Lubricants and Surfactants
  • Applications: Emulsifier in Food Products, Stabilizer in Cosmetic Creams and Lotions, Binding Agent in Pharmaceutical Tablets, Dispersing Agent in Industrial Applications, Surfactant in Cleaning Products
  • Benefits: Acts as a Stable Emulsifier, Improves Texture and Consistency, Non-Toxic, Enhances Solubility of Ingredients, Offers Compatibility with Various Oils and Fats, Suitable for Wide pH Range, Cost-Effective
  • Products Uses: Emulsifier in Baked Goods, Ice Cream, Beverages, Stabilizer in Cosmetic Creams, Lotions, Make-up Products, Binding Agent in Pharmaceutical Tablets and Capsules, Surfactant in Industrial Cleaning Products, Lubricant in Machinery
  • Safety: Generally safe, however keep out of eyes and do not eat.
  • Cautions: Not for ingestion, keep away from pets and children who may attempt to eat.
  • External Use Only: Even if food grade, we do not provide items for ingestion, all of our items are for external use only.

Sorbitan Stearate

It is primarily used as an emulsifier to keep water and oils mixed. Very common and useful ingredient in many lotions and skin care products. It acts as a humectant to bind moisture. Many products use this to keep a cream base from breaking apart during long-term storage.

Derived from sorbitol and stearic acid, sorbitan stearate is a wax-like ester that has carved a niche for itself within the cosmetic and personal care sectors. Revered for its unique set of properties, it acts as a pivotal ingredient in many formulations, enhancing product consistency, stability, and performance.

A Deep Dive into Sorbitan Stearate

Sorbitan stearate belongs to a family of compounds known as sorbitan fatty acid esters. Its structure, composed of both hydrophilic (water-attracting) and lipophilic (oil-attracting) parts, enables it to function as an effective emulsifying agent. This dual affinity means it can bind water and oil molecules, facilitating the formation of stable emulsions which are crucial for many personal care and cosmetic products.

Key Roles in Personal Care and Cosmetic Formulations

1. Emulsification

One of sorbitan stearate's primary roles in cosmetic formulations is as an emulsifier. It stabilizes mixtures of water and oil, preventing them from separating. This stability ensures a uniform texture and consistent performance in products such as creams, lotions, and serums.

2. Texture Enhancer

Texture plays a critical role in the appeal and efficacy of cosmetic products. Sorbitan stearate imparts a creamy and smooth consistency, improving the overall feel and spreadability of the product. This enhanced texture ensures an even application, crucial for foundations, sunscreens, and moisturizers.

3. Skin Conditioning

Beyond its technical benefits, sorbitan stearate also offers skin conditioning properties. It helps to maintain the skin's natural moisture barrier, leaving it feeling soft and nourished. Its non-greasy nature ensures the skin remains hydrated without feeling weighed down or oily.

4. Stability Booster

In the dynamic world of cosmetics, product stability can be a challenge, especially when multiple ingredients are at play. Sorbitan stearate acts as a stabilizer, ensuring that the final product maintains its consistency and efficacy over time, even under varying conditions.

5. Surfactant

As a mild surfactant, sorbitan stearate helps to reduce the surface tension of substances, allowing them to spread more easily. This property is particularly beneficial in formulations like makeup removers or cleansers, assisting in breaking down oils and impurities on the skin.

Soap Making and Sorbitan Stearate

In the realm of artisanal and commercial soap making, sorbitan stearate has become a popular choice. Its emulsifying abilities ensure a uniform blend of oils, water, and other ingredients. Furthermore, its conditioning properties imbue the soap with a luxurious feel, while its surfactant nature boosts the soap's cleansing power.

Considerations and Recommendations

Although sorbitan stearate boasts a myriad of benefits, it's essential to consider its sourcing and quality. Opting for sustainably sourced and high-grade sorbitan stearate can make a marked difference in the final product's quality and safety. It's always advisable to ensure that it's used within recommended concentration levels to maintain product safety and performance.

Sorbitan Stearate Uses

Food Industry

Sorbitan Stearate is used as an emulsifier in various food products such as baked goods, ice cream, and beverages. It helps in mixing ingredients and improving the texture and consistency of the products.

Cosmetics and Personal Care

In the cosmetics and personal care industry, Sorbitan Stearate acts as a stabilizer in creams, lotions, and makeup products. It enhances solubility and offers compatibility with various oils and fats.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Sorbitan Stearate is used as a binding agent in pharmaceutical tablets and capsules. It ensures that the ingredients are evenly distributed and maintains the integrity of the products.

Industrial Applications

It's utilized in various industrial applications, such as a surfactant in cleaning products and a lubricant in machinery. Sorbitan Stearate's emulsifying properties make it suitable for wide pH ranges and various uses in the industrial sector.

Sorbitan Stearate Benefits

Stable Emulsifier

Acts as a stable emulsifier, facilitating the blending of ingredients that otherwise would not mix well together, such as oil and water.

Improves Texture and Consistency

Used in food and cosmetic products to improve texture and consistency, providing a smooth and creamy feel.


Known to be non-toxic, making it safe for use in food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical applications.

Enhances Solubility

Enhances the solubility of ingredients in various formulations, allowing for greater flexibility in product design.

Compatibility with Oils and Fats

Offers compatibility with various oils and fats, making it a versatile choice for different products.

Suitable for Wide pH Range

Sorbitan Stearate functions effectively across a wide pH range, allowing for its use in diverse products and industrial applications.


Its efficiency and wide range of applications make Sorbitan Stearate a cost-effective choice for manufacturers.


Sorbitan Stearate for Hair

Sorbitan Stearate is a versatile ingredient that can offer several benefits for hair care:

1. Emulsification

Sorbitan Stearate is an emulsifier that helps blend oil and water-based ingredients in hair care products, creating stable formulations.

2. Texture and Consistency

In hair products, Sorbitan Stearate contributes to the texture and consistency, making products easier to apply and distribute.

3. Conditioning Properties

It can provide conditioning benefits, helping to soften and smooth the hair strands, making them more manageable.

4. Stabilization

Sorbitan Stearate aids in stabilizing hair care products, preventing ingredient separation and maintaining their overall quality.

5. Compatibility

It's compatible with various hair care ingredients, allowing for the creation of multi-functional products.

Using Sorbitan Stearate in Hair Products

Here are some ways you can use Sorbitan Stearate in your hair care routine:

1. Conditioners

Sorbitan Stearate can be added to conditioners to enhance their texture and conditioning effects.

2. Hair Masks

In hair masks, it can aid in even distribution and improve the overall performance of the mask.

3. Styling Products

Sorbitan Stearate can be incorporated into styling products like creams and gels to improve texture and hold.

4. Shampoos

In shampoos, it can help stabilize formulations and contribute to a smooth texture.

5. Leave-In Products

For leave-in products, Sorbitan Stearate can provide added conditioning benefits and improve the spreadability of the product.

When using Sorbitan Stearate in hair care products, consider its emulsifying, conditioning, and stabilizing properties to enhance the effectiveness of your hair care routine.

Comedogenic Potential of Sorbitan Stearate

Sorbitan Stearate is commonly used in cosmetic and skincare formulations. When considering its comedogenic potential, it's important to understand its impact on the skin:

1. Non-Comedogenic Nature

Sorbitan Stearate is generally considered non-comedogenic, which means it's unlikely to clog pores or contribute to the formation of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads).

2. Compatibility

Its non-comedogenic nature makes Sorbitan Stearate suitable for various skin types, including those with oily or acne-prone skin.

3. Formulation Factors

While Sorbitan Stearate itself is non-comedogenic, its comedogenic potential can be influenced by other ingredients in a formulation. It's essential to consider the overall formulation's impact on the skin.

4. Patch Testing

As with any cosmetic ingredient, individual reactions can vary. Patch testing a product containing Sorbitan Stearate can help determine its compatibility with your skin.

Choosing Products

When selecting skincare products containing Sorbitan Stearate:

1. Read Labels

Review ingredient lists to identify Sorbitan Stearate in products you're considering.

2. Consider Skin Type

Consider your skin type and any specific concerns when choosing products with Sorbitan Stearate.

3. Observe Reactions

Monitor your skin's response when introducing new products containing Sorbitan Stearate, especially if you have sensitive or reactive skin.

Overall, Sorbitan Stearate's non-comedogenic nature makes it a suitable choice for various skincare formulations, particularly for individuals concerned about clogged pores and acne.

Sorbitan Stearate in Skin Care

Sorbitan Stearate is a popular ingredient in skin care products due to its unique emulsifying properties. It facilitates the blending of water and oils, making it a key component in various formulations. Let's explore its characteristics, benefits, and uses in skin care.

Properties of Sorbitan Stearate

  • Emulsifying Agent: It helps to create stable emulsions by reducing surface tension between different ingredients.
  • Texture Enhancer: Sorbitan Stearate contributes to a smoother, creamier texture in products.
  • Non-Irritating: Generally considered gentle on the skin, making it suitable for various skin types.

Common Uses in Skin Care Products

Sorbitan Stearate is found in a wide range of skin care items, such as:

  • Creams and Lotions: Improves texture and stability.
  • Sunscreen: Helps in creating uniform formulations for effective sun protection.
  • Makeup Products: Used in foundations and concealers for a smooth application.

Benefits for Different Skin Types

  • Dry Skin: Facilitates moisturizing ingredients, enhancing hydration.
  • Sensitive Skin: Its gentle nature makes it suitable for sensitive skin formulations.

Considerations When Purchasing Skin Products with Sorbitan Stearate

When looking for skin care products containing Sorbitan Stearate, consider the following:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the product is suitable for your specific skin type and needs.
  • Source: Depending on individual preferences, you may wish to check whether the Sorbitan Stearate is derived from plant-based or other sources.
  • Certifications: Look for certifications like cruelty-free or organic, if they align with your values.


Sorbitan Stearate is typically considered safe for topical use in skin care products. However, as with any ingredient, individual sensitivities can vary. A patch test or consultation with a skin care professional might be advisable if you have specific concerns.

Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance (HLB) of Sorbitan Stearate

The Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance (HLB) is a concept used in cosmetic and skincare formulation to describe the balance between the hydrophilic (water-attracting) and lipophilic (oil-attracting) properties of an ingredient. For Sorbitan Stearate:

1. HLB Range

Sorbitan Stearate falls within a relatively low HLB range, typically around 4.7. This indicates a higher affinity for oil-based components.

2. Lipophilic Nature

Due to its low HLB value, Sorbitan Stearate is more lipophilic, making it suitable for oil-based and water-in-oil emulsions.

3. Emulsification

Sorbitan Stearate's lipophilic nature allows it to function as an emulsifier in formulations where oil phases need to be stabilized in water-based products.

4. Texture and Stability

Its ability to create stable oil-in-water emulsions contributes to improved texture and stability in products like creams and lotions.

5. Consideration for Formulation

When formulating with Sorbitan Stearate, its low HLB value should be taken into account to ensure compatibility with other ingredients and desired product outcomes.

Using Sorbitan Stearate in Formulations

Understanding Sorbitan Stearate's HLB value is valuable for:

1. Emulsion Types

Selecting the appropriate emulsion type (water-in-oil or oil-in-water) based on Sorbitan Stearate's lipophilic nature.

2. Texture Enhancement

Enhancing the texture, stability, and overall performance of skincare and cosmetic products.

3. Compatibility

Ensuring compatibility with other ingredients and achieving the desired characteristics of the final formulation.

By considering Sorbitan Stearate's HLB value, formulators can optimize its use in various product formulations.

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How Fast Can I get it?

We Guarantee Your order ships out the same or next business day! This means in the South East you will have your order in 1 to 3 business days, in the North East normally 3 to 4 days and in the West normally 4 to 5 days. For full details on shipping and processing times please see our expected delivery times.

These times are based on business days, not including weekends or holidays.

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Typical Delivery Times to Major US Cities

Major Cities Total Business Days +1 / -1
Alabama (AL) - Montgomery, Birmingham 1
Alaska (AK) - Juneau, Anchorage 7
Arizona (AZ) - Phoenix, Tucson 4
Arkansas (AR) - Little Rock, Fayetteville 2
California (CA) - Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose 4
Colorado (CO) - Denver, Colorado Springs 3
Connecticut (CT) - Hartford, New Haven 2
Delaware (DE) - Dover, Wilmington, Newark 2
Florida (FL) - Tallahassee, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa, Destin 2
Georgia (GA) - Atlanta, Savannah, Augusta, Athens 1
Hawaii (HI) - Honolulu, Kailua 7
Idaho (ID) - Boise, Coeur d'Alene 4
Illinois (IL) - Springfield, Chicago, Peoria, Rockford 2
Indiana (IN) - Indianapolis, Fort Wayne 2
Iowa (IA) - Des Moines, Cedar Rapids 2
Kansas (KS) - Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City 2
Kentucky (KY) - Frankfort, Louisville, Lexington 2
Louisiana (LA) - Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette 2
Maine (ME) - Augusta, Portland, Bangor 3
Maryland (MD) - Annapolis, Baltimore 2
Massachusetts (MA) - Boston, Cambridge, Worcester 2
Michigan (MI) - Lansing, Detroit, Grand Rapids 2
Minnesota (MN) - St. Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth 3
Mississippi (MS) - Jackson, Biloxi, Hattiesburg 1
Missouri (MO) - Jefferson City, St Louis, Kansas City 2
Montana (MT) - Helena, Billings 4
Nebraska (NE) - Lincoln, Omaha 2
Nevada (NV) - Carson City, Las Vegas, Reno 4
New Hampshire (NH) - Concord, Manchester, Portsmouth 2
New Jersey (NJ) - Trenton, Newark, Jersey City 2
New Mexico (NM) - Santa Fe, Alburquerque 3
New York (NY) - Albany, New York, Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse, Niagara Falls, Ithaca 3
North Carolina (NC) - Raleigh, Charlotte 2
North Dakota (ND) - Bismarck, Fargo 3
Ohio (OH) - Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati 2
Oklahoma (OK) - Oklahoma City, Fairview, 2
Oregon (OR) - Salem, Portland, Eugene 5
Pennsylvania (PA) - Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh 2
Rhode Island (RI) - Providence, Newport 2
South Carolina (SC) - Columbia, Charleston 1
South Dakota (SD) - Pierre, Sioux Falls, Rapid City 3
Tennessee (TN) - Nashville, Memphis 2
Texas (TX) - Austin, Houston, Dallas 3
Utah (UT) - Salt Lake City, St. George 3
Vermont (VT) - Montpelier, Burlington 3
Virginia (VA) - Richmond, Virginia Beach 2
Washington (WA) - Olympia, Seattle, Vancouver, Spokane 5
West Virginia (WV) - Charleston, Morgantown 2
Wisconsin (WI) - Madison, Milwaukee 2
Wyoming (WY) - Cheyenne, Jackson 4

Disclaimer: All product descriptions and specifications provided in this description are intended as a guide only and are subject to change without notice. While we strive for accuracy, discrepancies or errors may be present. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Safety Data Sheet (Sorbitan-Stearate.pdf, 115 Kb) [Download]