Glyceryl stearate (GMS) is one of the most commonly used ingredients in personal care formulations. But it’s a material that is not well understood by most formulators. GMS (EU) is normally used as a low-HLB thickening agent in lamellar gel (EU) network (LGN)-based oil-in-water emulsions, often combined with fatty alcohols.
LGN-based emulsions containing thickening polymers are the most common type of oil-in-water formulations sold globally. Most GMS used in personal care products should actually be called glyceryl distearate (EU), since many common grades only contain around 40% alpha monostearate (EU), 5% glyceryl tristearate (EU), and 50% glyceryl distearate.
There are also grades commercially available that contain 30%, 60%, and 90% GMS. The 90% alpha mono grades can only be produced by molecular distillation and are widely used in the food industry.
Functionally, there is a big difference in performance if you use a 90% versus 40% mono. A 90% mono has a higher melting point (69°C versus 58-63°C), lighter skin feel, and a higher HLB (EU) (~4-5, versus ~3). The higher HLB of the 90% mono enables you to form LGNs much easier with lower emulsifier levels and energy than when using cetyl (EU)/stearyl alcohol (EU). There are also self-emulsifying (SE) grades of GMS available, which are typically combined with PEG 100 stearate (EU), potassium stearate (EU), or sodium lauryl sulfate (EU).
|Glyceryl Stearate Suppliers (North America)||GLYCERYL STEARATE Suppliers (Europe)|
|ABITEC Corporation||Ashland Inc.|
|BASF Care Creations||Evonik Industries AG Personal Care|
|Evonik Industries AG Personal Care||HallStar Company|
|Laboratoires Prod’Hyg||Laboratoires Prod’Hyg|
|Spectrum Chemical Mfg. Corp.|
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