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Sucrose Polylaurate: An In-Depth Look at Its Role in Cosmetics

Article last updated: June 12, 2024

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Ever wondered what makes your cosmetics so effective and safe? Dive into our in-depth analysis of Sucrose Polylaurate, a key ingredient that enhances the performance of your beauty products.

What is Sucrose Polylaurate?

Sucrose Polylaurate, also known as .alpha.-d-Glucopyranoside,.beta.-d-fructofuranosyl, esters with dodecanoic acid, is a versatile ingredient used in the cosmetic industry. It is a sugar ester, which means it is derived from sugar and fatty acids. In this case, the sugar is sucrose and the fatty acid is lauric acid. The chemical composition of Sucrose Polylaurate gives it a unique set of properties that make it an excellent addition to various cosmetic products.

The use of Sucrose Polylaurate in cosmetics dates back several decades. It was recognized for its potential in skin care due to its natural origin and its unique properties. The sugar component of Sucrose Polylaurate acts as a humectant, drawing moisture into the skin, while the fatty acid component provides emollient properties, softening and smoothing the skin. This combination of properties made it an attractive ingredient for cosmetic manufacturers.

The production of Sucrose Polylaurate involves a process known as esterification. This is a chemical reaction where an alcohol (in this case, the sugar sucrose) reacts with an acid (lauric acid) to produce an ester (Sucrose Polylaurate). The process requires heat and a catalyst to drive the reaction. The resulting Sucrose Polylaurate is then purified and prepared for use in cosmetic products.

The Benefits/Uses of Sucrose Polylaurate

In this section, we will delve into the officially recognized benefits and uses of Sucrose Polylaurate:

Skin Conditioning

As a skin conditioning agent, Sucrose Polylaurate helps to make the skin feel smoother and softer. It achieves this by increasing the skin’s hydration levels and reducing roughness. This ingredient forms a protective layer on the skin’s surface, preventing moisture loss and maintaining the skin’s overall health and appearance. So, if you’re looking for a product that can help keep your skin hydrated and smooth, look for one with Sucrose Polylaurate.


Emollients are ingredients that help to moisturize the skin by reducing water loss from the outer layer of the skin. Sucrose Polylaurate, as an emollient, can help to soften and soothe the skin. It fills in the spaces between skin cells, creating a smooth surface. That’s why products with Sucrose Polylaurate can leave your skin feeling soft and plump.


Sucrose Polylaurate also has cleansing properties. It helps to clean the skin by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed away. This means that products with Sucrose Polylaurate can help to remove dirt, oil, and makeup from your skin, leaving it clean and refreshed.


As an emulsifier, Sucrose Polylaurate helps to mix oil and water, two ingredients that normally don’t mix well. This is important in cosmetic products as it ensures that the product spreads evenly on your skin. So, if you’re using a product with Sucrose Polylaurate, you can be sure that it will spread easily and evenly, ensuring that all areas of your skin receive the benefits of the product.

Note: the listed benefits above are exclusively based on the officially recognized and defined functions of the ingredient, as documented by the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI).

Potential Side Effects & Other Considerations

Sucrose Polylaurate is generally considered safe for use in cosmetics. However, like any ingredient, it may not be suitable for everyone. It’s important to note that while it has a low allergenic potential, some individuals may still experience an allergic reaction or sensitivity to it. This is why it’s always recommended to conduct a patch test before using any new product widely.

Some potential side effects of topical application of Sucrose Polylaurate may include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning sensation
  • Skin irritation

Regarding individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding, there is currently a lack of data on the safety of topical usage of Sucrose Polylaurate during these periods. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for further advice.

While adverse reactions to Sucrose Polylaurate are not common, they can occur, particularly in individuals with sensitive skin. It’s always a good idea to conduct a patch test before using any product containing this ingredient widely.

As for its comedogenicity, Sucrose Polylaurate is rated as 1 on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being totally non-comedogenic and 5 being highly comedogenic. This means it has a low likelihood of clogging pores and causing acne or blemishes. However, everyone’s skin is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you are prone to acne, blemishes, or breakouts, it’s always a good idea to monitor your skin’s reaction to any new product.

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