Know Your Ingredients: Sorbitol

by Gio


What it is
Sorbitol is a sugar that occurs naturally in berries, cherries, apples, pears, plums, algae and seaweed. It can also be produced synthetically, but the type used in cosmetics is generally derived from corn.

What it does
Sorbitol is a humectant: it draws water from the air into the skin, thus helping  to hydrate it and preventing moisture loss.
In addition, it is also used as a thickening agent.

Side effects
In an arid climate, Sorbitol can draw water out of the skin, dehydrating it more. However, most products are formulated to avoid this from happening.


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Dao October 24, 2009 - 4:37 pm

I know people use sorbitol as a sweetener and some lip glosses have it to make it sweeter. Now, I know it is also a humectant and a thickener, thank to you 🙂
.-= Dao´s last blog ..My New Moon =-.

beautifulwithbrains October 24, 2009 - 5:40 pm

You’re welcome Dao. Thank you for pointing out that it is used as a sweetener too. 🙂

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Debra December 4, 2011 - 7:58 pm

I am using a Organic, glycerine soap that has sorbitol in it I live in a dry climate, and to add insult to injury, I placed the soap in the refrigerator to protect it from microbes and meltdown from summer months.
I believe i am seeing dry spots on my face.
should I be taking a chance with this soap any further?

beautifulwithbrains December 4, 2011 - 8:26 pm

Debra, if you think the soap could be the culprit, then try and stop using it for a few days and see what happens. If your skin improves, then throw it away.

Debra December 5, 2011 - 12:02 am

Thanks ” Beautiful”
I am going to lay off the soap for a while, but I am afraid to get out of the coals and into the fire, with another cleanser, if you know what I mean.
Can anyone explain how most formula’s are formulated to avoid the Sorbital from drying the skin


beautifulwithbrains December 5, 2011 - 7:19 am

Debra, soaps are usually mostly made of surfactants, ie detergents that help water mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed away. But some of these ingredients can be drying so something moisturizing ones are added to balance things out. Just look for one that doesn’t contain Sorbitol and you should be ok.


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