Sugar In Pores and skin Care: Why You Might Discover Sucrose On Your Product Ingredient Record

What is sucrose

Sucrose, also known as common sugar, is used in cosmetic and skin care products for its function as a natural exfoliant Humectants Moisturizer.

Sucrose is a disaccharide, a molecule made up of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose. It is obtained by crystallization from sugar cane or sugar beet juice extracted by pressing or diffusion, then clarified and evaporated.

While you’re familiar with sugar in the context of cooking, baking, or your morning coffee or tea, it’s also used in skin care. It is mainly used as a mild exfoliant to physically remove dead skin cells. It is also used as a humectant. Humectants are a type of ingredient that help draw moisture into the skin. One humectant you may be familiar with is Hyaluronic acid.

Other related ingredients include sucrose distearate, sucrose oleate, sucrose laureate, and sucrose palmitate.

the breakdown


the good: Sucrose acts as a natural exfoliant and moisturizer. It is used to gently exfoliate the skin and draw moisture to the surface of the skin, giving your skin a hydrated look.

not so good: Sucrose is not widely used.

For whom is that? All skin types except those identified as having an allergy.

Synergetic ingredients: Works well with most ingredients

Keep an eye on: Keep an eye out for related ingredients.

Why is sugar in your skincare routine?

Sucrose is used as a natural exfoliant and moisturizer in cosmetics and personal care products.


Sucrose comes in the form of small, crystalline particles, which allows this ingredient to act as a gentle abrasive. Products that contain sucrose as an abrasive help exfoliate the top layers of skin and remove makeup, excess oil, dirt, and other impurities that may have built up over the course of the day.

peeling can be a useful way to minimize the buildup of extra dead cells on the surface of the skin that can clog pores and ultimately lead to unwanted acne or other dermal conditions. In addition, exfoliation becomes even more important as you age as the skin’s natural cycle of shedding dead cells slows down.

However, excessive exfoliation can cause skin barrier problems, irritation, and sensitivity. It’s always better to exfoliate less than more.


Sucrose acts as a moisturizer. A humectant is a water-loving substance that often has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic Groups. Hydrophilic means that the molecule is attracted to water.

This structure enables humectants to attract and hold moisture in nearby air through absorption, drawing the water vapor into or under the surface of the skin. This function of sucrose makes it a very useful ingredient for people with dehydrated skin.

Sucrose fatty acid ester

Sucrose fatty acid esters are a related type of ingredient that is typically added to cosmetic formulations as emulsifiers. Emulsifiers help improve blending of products that contain both water and oil based ingredients.

Oil and water do not mix easily and often separate or split, causing the product to lose its creamy consistency. Emulsifiers help minimize breakdown and mix the ingredients together.

These esters work by mixing the water-loving sucrose with a fatty acid or oil-based component to make a component that can exist and bind to water and oil at the same time.

In addition, sucrose fatty acid esters act as surfactants, removing oil and dirt from the skin and allowing it to be washed off. Other sucrose esters have a role in conditioning the skin and act as emollients.

Cosmetic products that may contain sucrose esters as an ingredient include eyelash products, hair treatments, oil gels, skin products, and deodorants. Finally, sucrose oleate and sucrose laureate can act as penetration enhancers that help improve the absorption of important ingredients by the skin.

Some commonly used sucrose fatty acid esters include: sucrose distearate, sucrose oleate, sucrose laureate, and sucrose palmitate.

Salt peeling versus sugar peeling

Salt based Scrubs that are widely used in body scrub products. However, they can be harsh or leave the skin dry and irritated. This is where sugar peels can be beneficial for the skin.

Peels that contain sucrose also have some advantages over salt peels. For one thing, small granules of sucrose are generally gentler than salt, which can lead to microscopic cracks in the skin.

Another benefit comes from the natural moisturizing properties of sucrose, which helps keep the skin hydrated. In contrast, salt peels can rid the skin of natural oils.

Will using sugar-based skin care products make me break out?

sugar has been linked to an increase in blemishes and breakouts when consumed in large quantities on a regular basis. This seems to be due to the effect that sugar has on your hormones, so hormonal acne.

However, topical application will not cause your skin to break out as it will not affect the body in the same way.

Is Sucrose Vegan?

Yes, sucrose is a vegan ingredient and is usually made from plant sources like beets or sugar cane.

When looking for a vegan product, always check the rest of the ingredients in the product. This should include whether the brand is cruelty free.

Is Sucrose Safe?

The US Food and Drug Administration or the FDA includes sucrose on its list of substances that have been confirmed as Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for direct addition to food. As such the Expert panel for the review of cosmetic ingredients, A group responsible for evaluating the safety of skin care and cosmetic ingredients has postponed a review of that ingredient.

However, the safety of sucrose fatty acid esters has been assessed by the panel of experts. The panel of experts evaluated the scientific data and concluded that the fatty acids are safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products.

Danby FW. Diet and Aging Skin: Sugar and Glycation. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jul-Aug; 28 (4): 409- 11.

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