Glyceryl monostearate, a common food additive and cosmetic ingredient, is an ester derived from glycerin and stearic acid. It is a versatile compound known for its emulsifying, thickening, and stabilizing properties. The food industry often uses it as an emulsifier to blend water and oil-based ingredients in products like ice cream, mayonnaise, and baked goods. It is an emollient in cosmetics, improving the texture and stability of creams and lotions. Additionally, glyceryl monostearate can be found in pharmaceuticals and as a lubricant in various industrial applications. Its ability to create stable mixtures of liquids and solids makes it a valuable ingredient in numerous products.


Glyceryl monostearate can be naturally obtained from various animal and plant sources. Animal fats, including tallow and lard, are traditional sources of this compound. In these cases, glyceryl monostearate is derived through the hydrolysis of the fat, which breaks it down into glycerin and stearic acid, followed by esterification to produce the ester. Plant-based oils like soybean and palm oil also serve as natural sources of glyceryl monostearate. These oils contain stearic acid, and the glyceryl monostearate can be isolated through appropriate processing methods. While this substance can be made commercially, glyceryl stearate can also naturally occur in the human body. Glycerol monostearate is a natural product made by your body to break down fats. You can also find it in some kinds of seed oils.


Glyceryl monostearate plays several vital roles in the cosmetic industry due to its unique properties. Some of its uses and functions in cosmetics include:
  1. Emulsification: Glyceryl monostearate is an effective emulsifier, helping to blend oil and water-based ingredients. This is crucial in formulating creams, lotions, and other emulsion-based products, ensuring they remain stable and do not separate.

  2. Thickening: It acts as a thickening agent, giving cosmetic products their desired consistency and texture. This is especially important for creams, where the right texture enhances the user experience.

  3. Stabilization: Glyceryl monostearate can enhance the stability of emulsions and prevent them from breaking down or separating over time.

  4. Moisturization: It functions as an emollient, which helps to moisturize and soften the skin. This makes it a valuable component in various skincare and personal care products.

  5. Controlled Release: In some cases, glyceryl monostearate can control the release of active ingredients in cosmetic products, allowing for prolonged effectiveness.

  6. Opacifying Agent: It can be added to cosmetics to improve opacity, providing a more attractive appearance in specific formulations.

  7. Compatibility: It is compatible with various cosmetic ingredients, making it versatile and suitable for multiple formulations.

These properties make glyceryl monostearate a valuable ingredient in cosmetics, allowing manufacturers to create products with the desired texture, stability, and performance. It is commonly found in skincare products like creams, lotions, and sunscreens, as well as in makeup products like foundations and lipsticks.


Glyceryl monostearate is often preferred over its chemical alternatives in the cosmetic industry for several reasons:

  1. Natural Origin: It can be derived from natural sources, such as animal and plant fats, making it an appealing choice for cosmetic brands and consumers seeking natural or eco-friendly options.
  2. Mildness: Glyceryl monostearate is generally considered mild and non-irritating, making it suitable for skincare and personal care products, particularly those intended for sensitive skin.

  3. Emollient Properties: It possesses moisturizing and emollient properties, helping keep the skin soft and hydrated, a desirable feature in cosmetic products.

  4. Versatility: It serves multiple functions in cosmetics, including emulsification, thickening, and stabilization, reducing the need for multiple chemicals and simplifying formulations.

  5. Compatibility: Glyceryl monostearate is compatible with various cosmetic ingredients, making it a versatile and easy-to-use component in formulations.

  6. Stability: It helps maintain the stability of cosmetic products, preventing separation and maintaining product integrity over time.

  7. Consumer Perception: Many consumers prefer products that contain ingredients they can recognize and understand, and glyceryl monostearate's natural origin aligns with this preference.