Sweetener, thickener and humectant
Products with this ingredient

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.


Sorbitol can be found in these products
Products with this ingredient
Sorbitol can be found in these products
Fresh Farmacy Cleanser
Facial Soap
Calm things down the natural way
Foot Soap
Scrub me like you do
Where dreams meet reality
Cold Pressed Soap
Weed out the competition


New soap base

All your soaps are now made with a sorbitol base and are free of MPG (Mono Propylene Glycol).

Over the past few years a lot of work has gone into reducing the environmental impact of our soaps. Since replacing the palm oil in the vegetable soap flakes we use, all Lush soaps have been made with a palm-free soap base due to ongoing concerns about deforestation in this industry. There are a couple more ingredients that could contain traces of palm oil, so work is continuing to replace them and make Lush soaps completely palm-free!

With this project completed, attention turned to removing all petrochemicals from our soaps – which means mono propylene glycol (MPG). This is described as a humectant in cosmetics and it has been used in soaps as a solubiliser. Each of these initiatives takes time and much experimentation, but your favourite soaps (new and older) will now be made with a replacement material, called sorbitol. 

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol commercially derived from corn syrup. It has many uses in both the cosmetics industry for example in toothpastes and in the food industry, and is a perfect replacement for MPG.

Since August 2014 all our soap production has switched to these newer alternatives.