Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil

What Is It?

Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Soybean Glycerides and Soy Acid are obtained from the soybean plant, Glycine soja (sometimes called Glycine max). Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil is the oil obtained from soybeans. Hydrogenated Sobean Oil results when hydrogen is added to soybean oil. Soybean Glycerides is a mixture of mono, di-, and triglycerides obtained from soybean oil, and Soy Acid is the mixture of fatty acids obtained from soybean oil.

In cosmetics and personal care products, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Soybean Glycerides and Soy Acid may be used in the formulation of bath products, cleansing products, eye makeup, hair conditioners, permanent waves, shampoos, suntan products, and other hair, skin and makeup products.

Why Is It Used?

The following functions have been reported for Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil and the other ingredients derived from Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil.

  • Antioxidant – Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil
  • Skin-conditioning agent – emollient – Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
  • Skin-conditioning agent – occlusive – Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
  • Surfactant – cleansing agent – Soy Acid
  • Surfactant – emulsifying agent – Soy Acid
  • Viscosity increasing agent – nonaqueous – Hydrogenated Soybean Oil

Scientific Facts

Plant derived (botanical) ingredients were among the very first cosmetics. Natural colorants, plant juices for soothing and protection from insect pests, and fragrant oils for imparting odor were all known and used in ancient times.

Using plants as a source of cosmetic ingredients was the only way to produce products for cleaning, moisturizing, covering up blemishes and even treating minor skin conditions before our knowledge of science allowed the creation of new materials to improve on what nature offers. Soybean Oil is the extracted or expressed oil from the soybean, Glycine soja. It consists primarily of triglycerides of oleic, linoleic and linolenic and saturated acids.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes soybean oil as well as its glycerides and fatty acids on its list of indirect food additives. Soybean oil and its components may be used in coatings and in textiles that come in contact with food. The safety of Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and Soy Acid has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel.

The CIR Expert Panel evaluated scientific data and concluded that these ingredients were safe for use as ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products Botanical and botanically derived ingredients used in the formulation of cosmetics are generally mild and safe.

Prior to marketing the finished cosmetic product, the safety of each ingredient must be substantiated in accordance with 21 CFR 740.10. Safety substantiation of cosmetic ingredients may include tests for ocular and skin irritation as well as allergenicity, phototoxicity, photoallergenicity and mutagenicity, depending on the application or intended use.

There is a considerable body of information about the safety of botanical ingredients and a well-established history of use. These resources are consulted to ensure the safety of these materials as they are used in cosmetics.

CIR Review:

Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and Soy Acid were included in the CIR Expert Panel’s review of plant-derived fatty acids oils. Based on a history of safe use in food, the composition of the oils, and data indicating these ingredients were not dermal irritants or sensitizers, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that plant-derived fatty acid oils including Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and Soy Acid were safe as used in cosmetic products.

In selecting plant-derived ingredients for preparation of cosmetic products, formulators rely on the extensive history of their preparation and use. Such materials have been used for a long time and, based upon this experience; extensive knowledge of their safety has been gained. In the situation of newly identified botanicals in the cosmetic industry, appropriate ocular and skin safety studies are conducted prior to release into general commerce. There are many different references that describe the isolation, use and safety of botanical preparations.

More information about botanical ingredients.

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for fats and oils derived from soybeans, and other vegetable sources

Soybean Oil 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.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:

More Scientific Information

A botanical ingredient is derived from a plant or plant part obtained from natural sources. Botanical ingredients are among the oldest materials used in the preparation of cosmetics and are valued for their properties, such as color, flavor, and/or scent. Botanical ingredients can be prepared from all or some of the parts of the plant.

They may also be obtained using extracting solvents (such as alcohol), infusion with water, steam treatment to obtain essential oils or simply by drying and grinding the material.

It is important to follow good manufacturing practices (GMP) to make sure the ingredient composition is consistent from one batch to another and to make sure that the ingredient does not degrade or grow microorganisms. In naming plants, botanists use a Latin name made up of the genus and species of the plant.

For example, under this system the plant, soybean is known as Glycine soja L., where “L” stands for Linneaus, who first described the type of plant specimen. Plants are also known by a common name that has been handed down through generations. These common names may vary from country to country. Therefore, Latin names, which are more likely to be recognized in many countries, are frequently used on the label of a product to identify an ingredient made from plants.


Cross Reference for Common Names and Latin names for Botanical ingredient:…

Find out more about the history of using plants to obtain beneficial materials:

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):

Search the Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory