When you are choosing skin care product, it is best to look for the top active ingredients like I discuss on this site. While PEG 100 Stearate has many positive qualities that make it a great addition to a product formulation, it also has potential side effects when found in too high concentrations that can become toxic to the body. Some experts in the skin care industry have suggested that this chemical can be linked to issues with reproductive health and even cancer in the most severe cases, so it is best to get the advice of your dermatologist before using a product that contains PEG 100 Stearate. In this review I’ll talk about the use of this chemical, what it does, and things to watch out for.
Use of PEG 100 Stearate
There are a number of reasons why PEG 100 Stearate is used in skin care products. The first is to give the skin a softer feel. By creating a barrier on the skin’s surface, it helps lock in moisture, keeping the skin hydrated, and prevents dirt and other free radicals from damaging the skin’s surface. This emollient property is a result of forming a thin fatty layer on the outer layer of the epidermis.
Another quality of PEG 100 Stearate is as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers aren’t for the skin itself, rather it means it helps in the product formulation, making the other ingredients mix together better. By enabling waters, oils and other chemicals to mix together more consistently, the product is easier to apply.
PEG 100 Stearate is also used as a surfactant which is why it is often used in facial cleansers. This allows the surface oils on the skin to mix better with water and clear dirt away through the skin’s pores. You will often find this ingredient in face washes, facial masks and even shampoos because of this ability.
This product does not pose much risk when applied topically as it cannot penetrate deep enough in the skin to cause any toxicity. However, it is suggested that this product should not be applied to any broken, damaged or irritated skin as this creates a direct channel for the chemical to enter into the body internally. When this occurs, the chemical can build up to toxic levels and cause the issues discussed at the beginning of this page.
Some have anecdotally reported skin irritations as a possible side effect of using a product with PEG 100 Stearate, though these reports have been rare. Most dermatologists have confirmed that this product should not cause any irritation when applied to healthy, unbroken skin.
Before using a product that contains this chemical, it is best to consult your doctor or dermatologist, and if given the approval it should be applied sparingly at first to see how your skin reacts to it. Discontinue use if you are experiencing any adverse reactions to it, and remember to never apply it to any open wounds or other irritated areas of skin as it should only be applied externally.