Stearic acid is a long-chain fatty acid. It is common in a variety of natural sources, including shea butter and coconut oil. Multiple studies have shown that products containing what is stearic acid may benefit a person’s skin. Some natural sources that contain stearic acid, such as coconut oil and shea butter, have moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.
However, people should avoid using stearic acid on its own. It may irritate a person’s skin and cause other health problems. Moreover, people should be aware of their allergies and sensitivities to different skin care ingredients. Products containing stearic acid may not be suitable for everyone to use as part of their skin care routine. This article discusses what is stearic acid in more detail, including its benefits and the possible adverse effects it may cause. It also explains how a person can use products containing stearic acid safely.

What is stearic acid?
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) defines stearic acid as a saturated long-chain fatty acid. The long chain is similar to a tail composed of 18 carbon atoms. Fatty acids make up fats.
Stearic acid occurs in a variety of animal and plant fats. For example, stearic acid is an important component in shea butter. It makes up around 2%Trusted Source of coconut oil and is present in safflower seed oil. Shea butter and coconut oil are popular components in skin care products such as creams and moisturizers. Some people prefer to use pure shea butter or coconut oil in their skin care routines.

Stearic acid-containing cream
Some research has shown that creams containing docosanol and stearic acid can help with skin lesions in mice. Docosanol is a topical treatment for recurrent episodes of cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. Researchers created the skin lesions by applying an irritant substance to the mice’s abdomens. When the researchers treated the lesions with the creams, there was a sizeable reduction in the lesions’ progression and severity. The creams made the skin appear less red and ulcerated. However, it is important to note that animal studies have limitations, and their findings may not apply to humans.