Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate

What Is It?

Sorbitan Caprylate, Sorbitan Cocoate, Sorbitan Diisostearate, Sorbitan Dioleate, Sorbitan Distearate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Sorbitan Sesquistearate and Sorbitan Triisostearate are waxy solids or viscous liquids. These esters are mono-, di-, and triesters of fatty acids and sorbitol. In cosmetics and personal care products, these ingredients are used in a variety of products including skin care products, moisturizers, cleansing products, and eye and facial makeup.

Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

Sorbitan Caprylate, Sorbitan Cocoate, Sorbitan Diisostearate, Sorbitan Dioleate, Sorbitan Distearate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Sorbitan Sesquistearate and Sorbitan Triisostearate function as surfactant – emulsifying agents.

Scientific Facts:

The sorbitan esters are produced by reacting the polyol, sorbitol, with a fatty acids (caprylic, coconut oil-derived fatty acids, isostearic, oleic, stearic, isostearic, olive oil-derived fatty acids). Both sobitol and the fatty acids are naturally occurring and are used in cosmetic products.

Safety Information:

The safety of Sorbitan Esters has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Sorbitan Caprylate, Sorbitan Cocoate, Sorbitan Diisostearate, Sorbitan Dioleate, Sorbitan Distearate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Sorbitan Sesquistearate and Sorbitan Triisostearate were safe for use in cosmetic and personal care products.

More safety Information:

CIR Safety Review: In reviewing the safety of Sorbitan Caprylate, Sorbitan Cocoate, Sorbitan Diisostearate, Sorbitan Dioleate, Sorbitan Distearate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Sorbitan Sesquistearate and Sorbitan Triisostearate, the CIR Expert Panel reffered to the fact that they had previously reviewed the safety of several of other Sorbitan Esters (Sorbitan Laurate, Sorbitan Oleate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Sorbitan Stearate, Sorbitan Trioleate and Sorbitan Tristearate).

As a class, sorbitan esters were relatively nontoxic via ingestion in acute and long-term studies. They were generally minimal to mild skin irritants, except that Sorbitan Isostearate applied to the skin was a moderate irritant in one study. Sorbitan esters did not act as sensitizing agents. The fatty acid component, tested alone, typically caused only slight irritation and sensitization, and was not photosensitizing.

Sorbitan esters were not ocular irritants. These esters and their corresponding fatty acids were not mutagenic. In clinical tests, sorbitan esters were generally minimal to mild skin irritants and were nonsensitizing, but Sorbitan Sesquioleate did produce an allergic reaction in fewer than 1% of patients with suspected contact dermatitis and addition of Sorbitan Sesquioleate to the components of a fragrance mix used in patch testing increased both irritant and allergic reactions to the fragrance mix.

The sorbitan esters 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 European Union animal by-products regulations.

EU Cosmetic Regulation

More Scientific Information:

Sorbitan esters are mono-, di-, and triesters of fatty acids and sorbitol-derived hexitol anhydrides. They are formed by dehydration of sorbitol with the remaining four hydroxyl groups esterified with fatty acids. Sorbitan Caprylate, Sorbitan Cocoate, Sorbitan Diisostearate, Sorbitan Dioleate, Sorbitan Distearate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Sorbitan Sesquistearate and Sorbitan Triisostearate function as surfactants – emulsifing agents in cosmetics and personal care products. The efficacy of emulsifying agents depends on their ability to reduce surface tension, to form complex films on the surface of emulsified droplets, and to create a repulsive barrier on emulsified droplets to prevent their coalescence.