Glyceryl Oleate

What Is It?

Glyceryl Oleate, also called, Glyceryl Monooleate, is obtained from naturally occurring oils and fats. It occurs as a clear amber or pale yellow liquid. In cosmetics and personal care products, it is predominantly used in the formulation of lipsticks, eye shadows, makeup bases, and skin care products.

Why Is It Used?

Glyceryl Oleate helps to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified. It also functions as a skin conditioning agent – emollient.

Scientific Facts

Glyceryl Oleate is the ester of glycerin and oleic acid. It is produced from oils that contain high concentrations of oleic acid, such as olive oil, peanut oil, teaseed oil or pecan oil.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Glyceryl Oleate on its list of direct food substances considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). The safety of Glyceryl Oleate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Glyceryl Oleate was safe as a cosmetic ingredient in the present practices of use and concentration. In 2004, as part of the scheduled re-evaluation of ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Glyceryl Oleate and reaffirmed the above conclusion.

CIR Safety Review: The metabolic products of Glyceryl Oleate are glycerol and oleic acid. Data on the safety of glycerides, glycerol, oleic acid and sodium oleate were supportive of the safety of Glyceryl Oleate. A single exposure to undiluted Glyceryl Oleate in dermal irritation studies produced only minimal irritation.

In a 4-week dermal toxicity/phototoxicity study, product formulations containing up to 5% Glyceryl Oleate produced slight reversible dermal irritation. Minimal to moderate eye irritation was produced by undiluted Glyceryl Oleate. Long term oral exposure to large doses of Glyceryl Oleate was not clearly associated with tumor formation. Irritation, sensitization or phototoxic effects were not observed in humans exposed to formulations containing Glyceryl Oleate. Based on the information included in the report, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that Glyceryl Oleate was safe as a cosmetic ingredient.

FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Glyceryl Monooleate…

When derived from plant sources, Glyceryl Oleate may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union. Ingredients of animal origin must comply with the European Union animal by-products regulations.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives has not restricted the daily intake of Glyceryl Oleate in food. No safety concern was identified at current levels of intake when used as a flavoring agent.

More Scientific Information

Glyceryl Oleate is the glyceryl 1-monoester of oleic acid. Glyceryl esters comprise a subgroup of esters which are primarily fatty acid mono- and diglycerides or triglycerides modified by reaction with other alcohols.


Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Food Ingredients and Packaging:

Food Contact Substances:…

Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS):

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EU Cosmetics Inventory