You have probably not heard of stearic acid but it is probably there in at least one skincare product you’re using. It is an ingredient that is used for formulation purposes — creating and balancing product formulas. The surprising thing is that it’s not an acid at all.
Stearic acid is a saturated, long-chain fatty acid that is naturally found in various plant and animal fats. It’s often considered a unicorn in skincare circles for its non-irritating, non-comedogenic, gentle properties, making it suitable for sensitive and/or dry skin.
Benefits of stearic acid for dry skinMoisturizing agents typically fall into three categories: humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Stearic acid is an emollient and a natural emulsifier, which is why it is used in skin cleansers and moisturisers. It has a waxy and oily texture and is soluble in oil. For this reason, it offers multiple benefits for dry skin:
Skin softening: As an emollient, stearic acid works well to soften and smoothen the dermis i.e. the top layer of the skin and prevent transepidermal water loss, keeping it moisturised for longer.
- Strengthening the skin barrier: Stearic acid is also an important component of the skin barrier along with other fatty acids. And therefore it works by strengthening the skin barrier and preventing damage to the skin. A healthy balance of stearic acid in the skin also helps slow down signs of ageing.
Gentle cleansing for sensitive and dry skin: Stearic acid works slightly differently from other emollients because it also works as a surfactant. Because of its oily and waxy properties, it works great for removing excess oil, dust, and grime from the skin without stripping it of its natural moisture and oils.
Using stearic acid for your skin
Stearic acid is primarily used in clinically tested products for formulation purposes and the benefits it provides are a bonus. Since it is a fatty acid, it mixes well with other lipids and also helps counteract the potentially drying and irritating side effects of some other ingredients.
If you have dry skin, you want to take the high-science route and look for moisturisers and creams that contain stearic acid to not just help moisturise your skin but also strengthen your skin barrier. This is why it is important to stick to dermatologist-backed products that contain this underrated ingredient.
However, note that it is not enough in and by itself. You will ideally need to supplement this with humectants like Hyaluronic acid as well. Our scientifically researched and clinically proven hyaluronic technology can boost skin hydration by up to 155% within one hour of application.
The lesser-known alternative
When trying to tackle dry skin, it is very important to take a holistic approach that tackles the problem from all directions. This is why you need technologically advanced and expert-backed skincare solutions that will help you hydrate, moisturise and protect the skin together. Stearic acid can be a game changer in this direction to help soften, smoothen and protect your skin at the same time.