Triisostearin at a Glance
- A blend of glycerin and fatty acid stearic acid
- Is a triester, meaning it has three ester groups, such as triglyceride
- Adds spreadability and enhances texture by adding a cushiony feel
- Also known as glyceryl triisostearate
Triisostearin is a versatile ingredient made by combining skin-replenishing glycerin with moisturizing fatty acid isostearic acid. The blend is known as triester since it contains three distinct ester groups. A triglyceride, such as caprylic/capric triglyceride, is another example of a triester ingredient.
Its use in skin care and makeup is primarily to create a cushiony, smooth texture in formulas that are oil-, emollient-, or silicone-based. The typical usage level is between 2–10%, although greater or lesser amounts may be used depending on desired characteristics.
When combined with ingredients such as dimer dilinoleyl dimer dilinoleate and hydroxystearic acid, triisostearin can be thought of as a synthetic alternative to petrolatum, since such a blend shares this moisturizing ingredient’s occlusive properties on skin, making it an interesting choice for lip care products.
Triisostearin is considered safe as used in cosmetics.
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 20, Supplement 4, 2001, pages 61–94
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About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
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