Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate in Skin Care

Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate in Skin Care

Here’s another one of the long scary sounding skincare ingredients that isn’t something to worry about. Except for the pronunciation of it. Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate is a synthetic ingredient. However, it is (usually) produced from plant-derived compounds.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here

This ingredient combines moisturizing molecules with the texture enhancing benefits of stearic acid to form a heavy-hitting power ingredient that provides the best of both worlds. They should start coming up with cooler names to make these ingredients sound more approachable.

What Is Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate?

Polyglyceryl-6 distearate is a plant-derived ingredient that is composed of stearic acid and Polyglyceryl-6. These molecules are synthetically combined to provide more effective moisturizing properties.

Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate for skin - what is it?

It is typically derived from plants that have high levels of both glycerin and stearic acid. Common plants used as a part of this process include cotton, coconut, palm kernel, sunflowers, and castor beans, to name a few.

It can be derived from almost any plant that contains either glycerin or stearic acid so there is a wide variety of plant and vegetable sources for polyglyceryl-6 distearate in skincare.

Stearic Acid

Stearic acid is a fatty acid naturally found in coconut and palm oil. In skincare it’s an effective emulsifier and emollient that helps soften and smooth the skin.

It also helps strengthen the skin barrier to protect against water loss, aging, irritants, and allergens.


This glycerin polymer is a humectant and moisturizing ingredient.

Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate Skin Benefits

Polyglyceryl-6 distearate is a versatile skincare ingredient with a wide variety of uses. You’ll find this moisturizing ingredient in heavy creams, serums, and anti-aging products. Here is a look at the top skincare uses and benefits of this ingredient:


Polyglyceryl-6 distearate is a common ingredient in moisturizers for its hydrating properties without leaving the skin feeling oily or greasy.

It’s a great lightweight, hydrating ingredient.

Emulsifier and facilitator

This is the primary use for polyglyceryl-6 distearate. Its unique molecular structure helps it hold ingredients together for a smooth shelf-stable formula. It also facilitates the delivery of these other compounds to the skin, enhancing their effectiveness.

Film former

It’s also loved for its ability to create a smooth film to help products stay in place to improve their effectiveness. It helps lock-in moisture helping the skin retain moisture.

These film forming properties can also help strengthen and protect the skin barrier. This helps prevent moisture loss and protect the skin against daily stressors.


Beyond its film forming and emulsifying properties, this ingredient is a highly-effective thickening agent. When combined with other skincare ingredients, it can create a thick, smooth product that’s easy to apply and has a pleasing texture.

Conditions skin without oiliness/greasiness

One advantage of polyglyceryl-6 distearate is that it can help create a comfortable film on the skin without feelings of greasiness or oiliness. It’s commonly used for skin products that are meant to be used in hot or humid conditions because it moisturizes the skin while allowing it to feel lightweight.

This is useful in gel-based and cream products that are formulated for oily skin.

Is Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate Vegan?

The answer is “it depends.” In most cases, the stearic acid and glycerin used to create polyglyceryl-6 distearate are derived from plants. However, both stearic acid and glycerin can also come from animals.

If you are not sure whether a particular brand is using plant or animal-derived polyglyceryl-6 distearate, it’s best to contact them and ask to ensure that you do not accidentally use an animal-derived product.

The vast majority of cosmetics products use plant-derived polyglyceryl-6 distearate, but it never hurts to double-check and ensure that your cosmetics and skincare products are vegan and cruelty-free.

Is Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate Safe for Skin?

Yes. This ingredient is considered safe to use for all skin types, including sensitive skin. You can use polyglyceryl-6 distearate safely without any concern. Don’t worry, it is not considered to be a toxic ingredient.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert panel considers polyglyceryl-6 distearate safe to use in cosmetics based on current practices and concentrations.

Also Known As:

Polyglyceryl-6 distearate is also sometimes called “diester of hexaglycerol and stearic acid.” Much more rarely, it may be called hexaglycerol distearate, plurol stearique WL 1009, or polyaldo HGDS. These all refer to the same compound.

Other Hydrating Ingredients you may find interesting: