sodium stearoyl glutamate

Sodium stearoyl glutamate is a synthetic or animal-derived ingredient (Paula’s Choice uses the former) that is added to cosmetics to condition skin or work as an emulsifier, keeping oil-and-water formulas blended.

In higher amounts, it works as a surfactant, typically with other cleansing agents; however, it used more often for its skin-softening and emulsifying properties.

Chemically, sodium stearoyl glutamate belongs to the amino acid group since the glutamate portion (not to be confused with the protein gluten) comes from the amino acid known as glutamic acid, which enhances skin hydration. The sodium portion makes it an amino acid salt, and it as well as similar ingredients in this amino acid group are considered non-irritating.

References for this information:

Cosmetics, July 2014, pages 159-170

See glutamic acid amino acids

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