Polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate is a diester of stearic acid (a saturated fatty acid) and the condensation product of methylglucose and polyglycerin-3 (a polymer containing 3 glycerin units). In cosmetics and personal care products, polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate functions as a mild, plant-based emulsifier and emollient.
Polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate is used as an 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). However, these two phases can separate if the product is left to settle. To address this problem, an emulsifier can be added to the system to help the droplets remain dispersed. Emulsifiers improve the consistency of a product, which enables an even distribution of topical skin care benefits. With an HLB of 12, polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate is soluble in water and gives rise to oil-in-water emulsions.
Polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate provides moisturizing properties and can be used as an emollient in skin care products. In addition, polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate improves a product’s water resistance, which is why this ingredient is often used in sun protection products.