Sweetener, thickener and humectant
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol derived from corn syrup. It is a sweetener, that makes formulas thick and stable. As a humectant, it is skin-conditioning and prevent moisture-loss from skin and hair.
Sorbitol has a wide range of uses in the cosmetics and food industry where it can be either find in a crystalline or liquid form. It occurs naturally in many fruits and berries. It was originally identified in the berries of a tree called the mountain ash, by a French chemist in 1872. It has been used for fifty years as a safe synthetic.
Sorbitol gives a sweet flavour but is also a good texturising agent and humectant. These qualities make it an excellent ingredient to use in mouth products like toothpaste. It is used there in a crystalline form as it combines well with the other powdered ingredients, such as Sodium Bicarbonate. It gives a smooth feel in the mouth and tastes sweet and pleasant. Despite its glucose source, it does not produce dental caries.
Sorbitol humectant and stabilising properties are also very appreciated in soap making, allowing Lush to remove mono propylene glycol (MPG) from all soap bases since 2014.