Glycol distearate

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Glycol distearate
Glycol distearate.svg
IUPAC name
1,2-Ethanediyl dioctadecanoate
Other names
Ethylene glycol distearate; Ethylene distearate; Ethylene glycol dioctadecanoate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.010.014
Molar mass 595.01 g·mol−1
Appearance White Flake
Melting point 65 to 73 °C (149 to 163 °F; 338 to 346 K)[1]
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
4,700 mg/kg (rat)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Glycol distearate is the diester of stearic acid and ethylene glycol. It is mostly commonly encountered in personal care products and cosmetics where it is used to produce pearlescent effects as well as a moisturizer.


Glycol distearate may be produced via the esterification of stearic acid (or its esters) with ethylene glycol. It can also be produced by a reaction of stearic acid with ethylene oxide.[2]


When forced to crystalize as thin platelets glycol distearate can give liquids and gels a pearlescent appearance.[3] This is often used by the producers of personal care products (e.g. shower gel) to increase the visual appeal of their products. It may also act as a skin moisturizer.

Glycol distearate is also commonly used as an embedding agent in microscopy.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ethylene glycol distearate,
  2. ^ Wrigley, A. N.; Smith, F. D.; Stirton, A. J. (January 1959). "Reaction of ethylene oxide or propylene oxide with long-chain fatty acids. Mono- and diester formation". Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 36 (1): 34–36. doi:10.1007/BF02540263.
  3. ^ Bolzinger, M.A.; Cogne, C.; Lafferrere, L.; Salvatori, F.; Ardaud, P.; Zanetti, M.; Puel, F. (May 2007). "Effects of surfactants on crystallization of ethylene glycol distearate in oil-in-water emulsion". Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 299 (1–3): 93–100. doi:10.1016/j.colsurfa.2006.11.026.