Glycine soja, or wild soybean, is an annual plant in the legume family. Phytosterols derived from the Glycine soja plant are listed as Glycine soja (soybean) sterols on a product’s ingredient list. Phytosterols are similar to cholesterol and benefit the skin by replenishing its lipid barrier while also providing soothing effects. A strong, intact skin barrier is important to keep moisture in and keep things like allergens, bacteria, and irritants out. When the barrier is weakened, these intruders can pass through the top layer of skin and cause damage that ultimately leads to common skin conditions such as acne, rashes, sensitive skin, and even signs of aging. Glycine soja sterols help to prevent these problems while simultaneously giving the skin a soft, smooth feel.
Glycine soja sterols can also be used as a natural, gentle emulsifier in products that contain both water and oil components. Mixing water and oil together creates a dispersion of oil droplets in water (and vice versa). These two phases can separate if the product is left to settle. To address this problem, an emulsifier can be added to help the droplets remain dispersed.