Sorbitol for Skin

Staying informed as a consumer is the best way to make sure you’re picking the best products for your personal skincare routine – and the best way to improve your skincare routine is to understand the role of individual ingredients that are commonly used in skincare products like moisturizers, toners, and cleansers.

We’ll explore the basics of sorbitol in skin care – including what it is, its uses and benefits, whether or not it’s vegan, and more. Learn all you need to know about sorbitol in skincare below.

Ingredient TypeSynthetic (though it’s naturally occuring)
UsesHydration, thickening agent
Comedogenic Rating0 – will not clog pores
SafetySafe for all skin types

What Is Sorbitol?

Sorbitol is a type of carbohydrate known as a “sugar alcohol,” or “polyol.” It’s frequently used in skin care, but is also commonly used as a sweetener in food products, since it has about ⅓ fewer calories compared to cane sugar.

It’s a naturally-occurring compound that can be found in a wide variety of fruits and berries such as apples and blackberries. It can also be produced artificially from glucose in a laboratory setting. This is the most common type of sorbitol used for both food products and cosmetics.

What Are The Uses & Benefits Of Sorbitol In Skincare?

Wondering what sorbitol is used for in skincare? Sorbitol is a safe skin care ingredient used to thicken products and help the skin absorb moisture. This and it’s stabilizing properties make it a common ingredient in soaps and lotions.

  • Slip agent and thickener – A “slip agent” is an ingredient that helps other ingredients spread throughout the skin and penetrate it. Sorbitol is often used as an additive for this purpose, and also because it’s a thickening agent that can improve the texture of skincare products.
  • Humectant – A humectant is a hydrating ingredient. Sorbitol is similar in composition to glycerin, another common humectant, and helps your skin absorb moisture from the air and retain it for a longer period of time. This means sorbitol is great for dehydrated, cracked, and dry skin.
  • Sweetness for lip products – Since it’s sweet and totally safe to eat, sorbitol is very commonly found in lip products like lip gloss, lip balm, and even some types of lipstick. It adds a mild and understated sweetness to these products, making them pleasant to taste on the lips.
Sorbitol top skin care benefits and uses

Is Sorbitol Vegan?

Yes. Sorbitol is derived from naturally-occurring carbohydrates and starches that are plant-based, so it’s completely vegan and cruelty-free.

When shopping for vegan skincare products, though, always make sure to consult the full ingredients list to look for any ingredients that may be derived from animals – this is the only way to be sure you’re getting a truly vegan product.

Is Sorbitol Safe In Skincare?

Sorbitol is considered safe in skincare. It occurs naturally in a wide variety of foods that are commonly eaten every day, like apples and blackberries, and is non-toxic when ingested, and on the skin. There are no known risks associated with using sorbitol in skincare, so you can feel free to use any products containing this ingredient.

Also Known As

Sorbitol is also sometimes called “glucitol.” These are the two names that will be used the most commonly on skincare products to refer to this ingredient. However, more rarely, it’s referred to as D-sorbitol, D-glucitol, Sorbo, or Sorbogem.