potassium stearate formula is an ingredient used in beauty products that works as an emulsifier to keep oil- and water-based ingredients from separating. It also helps to add body and texture.
In cosmetics, potassium stearate is found in body powders, face and eye makeup and some soap products. It is a fine white powder with a fatty odor. It is often used in combination with other stearate salts such as magnesium, sodium and zinc stearate to prevent the separating of emulsions into their oil and liquid components.
It is a metal-organic compound and the salt of stearic acid, with the chemical formula K2(CH3COOH)2. It is a byproduct of vegetable oils through saponification.
Stearate salts are generally considered safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel and can be used in small amounts (up to 7.5% in leave-on products). It has been shown to be biodegradable. It is not a skin irritant and does not cause allergic reactions in most individuals, although it has been reported to have some potential respiratory tract irritation.
Potassium is an alkali metal that has a silvery gray metallic appearance and is the third most abundant element in nature, following oxygen and hydrogen. It is found in its pure form as well as in a variety of compounds, including potassium hydroxide and potassium carbonate. It is insoluble in polar solvents, but soluble in aromatic compounds and chlorinated hydrocarbons when heated. It is a volatile substance and when heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes.