Stearyl glycyrrhetinate is an ester of stearyl alcohol and glycyrrhetinic acid. Stearyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol produced from stearic acid, a naturally occurring saturated fatty acid with an 18-carbon chain. Glycyrrhetinic acid is one of the major active constituents of licorice, the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. In cosmetics and personal care products, stearyl glycyrrhetinate functions as a skin-soothing and skin-conditioning agent.
The stearyl alcohol portion of this ingredient works to soften and smooth the skin after application. It provides fatty acids which create a protective barrier on the surface of skin. This barrier effectively seals moisture in while keeping irritants and other environmental elements out. The glycyrrhetinic acid portion of this ingredient helps calm skin and minimize signs of sensitization. It also has antioxidant properties that may help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. While stearyl glycyrrhetinate is an excellent ingredient for all skin types, it is particularly helpful for those with symptoms such as dry, flaky, itchy and/or irritated skin.