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A potassium salt of stearic acid, Potassium Stearate is derived from the saponification process of vegetable oils. It is widely used in cosmetics, personal care and cleaning industries.

Its function is to keep water and oil-based ingredients from separating. It also acts as a cleansing agent and co-emulsifier in hair, face and body products.

Skin DeepĀ® Rating

The Safest Product & Ingredient:
Potassium stearate is considered low hazard by the independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel and scores well on our Skin Deep safety assessment. It also has a fair data availability score, meaning that we can find enough information to know if it’s safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products.

In Medicine

Magnesium stearate is a common additive in medication capsules to help delay their breakdown and absorption. This helps ensure that medications reach your stomach and then are absorbed into your bloodstream in the right area of your body.

It may weaken immune T-cell function, which could cause infections. It may also irritate the mucus lining of your bowels, which can trigger a bowel movement or diarrhea.

Consumer Concerns

Many people worry that stearate comes from cottonseed oil, which has pesticides in it. Other concerns include that it could keep your body from absorbing nutrients and drugs the way they should.

But stearate is not likely to be a cause for concern in most situations, especially since it goes through an intense purification process before being added to medications. Its main functions, however, are to delay the breakdown and absorption of drugs and to ensure that they’re absorbed in the correct area of your bowel.

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