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What’s In My Shampoo – Glycol Distearate | ChemistryTwig

What’s In My Shampoo – Glycol Distearate

Ever look at the back of your shampoo bottle? There’s usually a huge list of ingredients. Ever wonder what any of those ingredients are? In this series, we’ll be exploring what’s in your shampoo.

Glycol distearate is a compound found in shampoos, conditioners, and soaps that acts to moisten your skin (such a substance is called an emollient). It’s also used to provide pearlescence in cosmetics – basically give a shampoo a pearly look. The compound is the diester, or compound derived from the condensation of an acid an alcohol, of ethylene glycol and stearic acid.

{adinserter 2}Glycol distearate isn’t known to be dangerous and there isn’t much controversy surrounding the compound. Of course, there may be compounds out there that are better at moisturizing but, hey, glycol distearate is pretty cheap. The only possible controversial thing about the compound – that I can tell – is it could be derived from cow or pig sources… could be. It could also be derived from vegetable or fruit sources (for example, coconut oil contains stearic acid). Overall, I don’t expect glycol distearate is of huge concern based on initial research. Of course, make sure you’re not allergic to it!

Here’s the summary of glycol distearate as an ingredient in your shampoo:

Compound: Glycol distearate
Compound origin: Condensation of ethylene glycol and stearic acid
Uses: Emollient and pearlescent agent
Danger: Low, unless you’re allergic or happen to ingest it. May come from animal sources (I stress may)

[1] “Glycol Distearate MSDS,” New Directions Laboratory. 15 May 2013. www.newdirections.com.au/msds-view/download.php?id=28327

[2] “Ingredient Watch List: Glycol Distearate,” Annmariegianni.com, 12 Sep 2013. http://www.annmariegianni.com/ingredient-watch-list-glycol-distearate-the-fake-pearlescent-thickener/

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