Sorbitan stearate is an essential ingredient in many lotions and other skin-care products. It acts as a humectant to bind moisture, thicken the product, and stabilize the mixture of water and oils. This stabilization effect is why sorbitan stearate is known as an emulsifier — it allows two liquids, which normally would not blend, to form a stable mix called an emulsion. Many everyday products use this to keep a cream base from breaking apart during long-term storage in vials, jars, and bottles. Separation may still occur, however, when products are subjected to extreme hot or cold temperatures.
Sorbitan Stearate is used as a surfactant, binder and humectant and prevents dehydration in the skin with its fatty acids. It is able to give skin a velvety feel. It is used in ointments, creams, lotions, and makeup. It is an emulsifier of essential oils in lotions and creams. It is used as a stabilizer and thickening agent in emulsions.
Sorbitan Stearate is derived from vegetable sources. It a an ester of stearic acid and is skin compatible.