Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you like to keep munching on some of your favourite chocolates, sweets, candies and other confectionery products? But at the same time, your wiser self does advice you to keep away from all these junk food as you might end up having a health problem. This is the time when the sugar-free sweeteners come into play. These sugar free sweeteners are the artificial substances which give the sweetness like sugar but are comparatively low on calories, hence commonly used as a substitute for sugar and as a food additive. If you are calorie conscious, then sugar-free sweeteners are the best option for you. These sugar-free sweeteners are mostly used in beverages, chewing gums, baked food and frozen desserts. So now you can relish all your favourite sweet dishes guilt-free.
Sorbitol is considered to be the main ingredient in these sugar-free sweeteners. Sorbitol is a common substitute for sugar and is known to be 60% as sweet as sucrose. Hence commonly used in diet drinks, chewing gum, mint, ice creams and in some cough syrup as well. But have you ever wondered that this sugar-free sweetener can have beauty benefits too? Yes, you heard it right, apart from being a common substitute for sugar, Sorbitol is quite beneficial for enhancing the beauty of your skin and hair. Keep reading to know more about Sorbitol and how is it beneficial in your hair care regime
What Is Sorbitol?
Sorbitol also known as glucitol is a sugar alcohol with a sweet taste which is slowly metabolized by our body. It is obtained by the reduction of glucose. Sorbitol is commonly derived from corn starch but is naturally available in many fruits such as prunes, peaches, pears and apples. Sorbitol is a white, hygroscopic and crystalline powder. The sweetness profile of Sorbitol is somewhat more closer to glucose as compared to sucrose. Hence it is widely used as sweetening ageing in bakery products, soft drinks, dairy products, confectionery products and in medicines such as cough syrup. Sorbitol is considered to be a low cal sweetener.
Sorbitol exhibits mild laxative properties, hence used medicinally to treat constipation. Sorbitol is a powerful humectant and a thickener, hence used in many skincare and hair care products to moisturize and nourish your hair. Apart from being a natural humectant, Sorbitol is loaded with many beauty benefits which makes it a key ingredient in many cosmetics.
Beauty Benefits Of Sorbitol
Sorbitol is a type of sugar which is processed synthetically or derived from a natural substance and acts as a humectant, thickening and a slip agent, thus hydrating and nourishing your skin and hair. Let’s find out how is Sorbitol beneficial to your skin and hair.
Sorbitol For Skin
- One of the interesting facts about Sorbitol is that the sugar content of Sorbitol feeds on the probiotics that make up your skin’s microbiome, thereby helping it to become balanced.
- The humectant property helps to retain the moisture content of your skin, thereby making it soft and supple.
- Sorbitol is broken down into beta-glucan by certain probiotics which have a calming and soothing effect on your skin.
- Sorbitol exhibits healing properties which are beneficial for people suffering from dry skin conditions.
- It is also known to form a protective layer on the skin, protecting the skin from the harsh climate and other environmental aggressors.
Sorbitol For Hair
Sorbitol is equally beneficial for your hair as well.
- Sorbitol helps to keep your strand hydrated for a longer time by trapping in moisture and retaining it for a longer time, thereby making your dry and frizzy hair more manageable.
- Hydrated scalp and hair ultimately lead to less breakage of hair due to dryness and controls hair fall.
- If you are dealing with scalp problems then Sorbitol will help you to sort it out as Sorbitol acts as a perfect surfactant.
- Sorbitol is a key ingredient in many of the haircare products including shampoos and conditioners. In shampoos, Sorbitol is known to bind with dirt, dust and grime which gets accumulated over your scalp and makes it water-soluble, thereby helping to get rid of the debris from the scalp. Sorbitol locks moisture and nourishes your hair the whole day long.
- Sorbitol is an excellent humectant, due to which it prevents the cosmetic products from drying out by making it viscous. This property along with lubricity and hygroscopicity make Sorbitol an ideal hair care ingredient.
- It adds shine and volume to your hair. Sorbitol helps to condition your hair, making it soft, smooth and tangle-free. Sorbitol acts as a plasticizer in many hair care products thereby adding elasticity to the hair and increasing its tensile strength and also prevents your hair care products from drying out.
- Sorbitol like glycerin attracts the water molecules towards itself and holds it together and has a long-lasting hydrating effect on your strands.
Importance Of Sorbitol In Hair Care Products
Your haircare products may be water-based or oil-based. In the oil-based formula, the oil and water molecules are held together with the help of emulsifiers. A good hair care product should have a moisturizing and nourishing effect on your scalp and hair. Hair moisturizers or conditioners should be able to hydrate and nourish your hair shaft. Oils do not moisturize your hair, they only replace the lost lipids from the hair and nourish it and only aid in sealing the moisture in your hair but does moisturize it. If your hair is already dry, then oil based product will not help you as it does not moisturize your hair. Hence it is very necessary to have humectant in a good hair care moisturizer which helps to attract moisture from the surrounding and traps it in your strands. And Sorbitol is known to be an excellent humectant which helps to keep your strands moisturized for a longer time.
Sorbitol is also known to be a perfect surfactant as it binds with dirt and grime and makes it water-soluble, making it easier to get rid of dirt and grime. Hence Sorbitol is increasingly being used in many hair care products.
Uses of Sorbitol
Sorbitol is not only known for its beauty benefits, but it is considered to be quite beneficial for your health as well. Let’s have a closer look at the potential uses of Sorbitol.
- Sorbitol is known to be an excellent humectant and also acts as a perfect surfactant, hence it is widely used in many shampoos, conditioners, styling gels and hair serums.
- Apart from hair care products, Sorbitol is used in skincare products such as soaps, handwash, facial cream, moisturizers and body lotions etc.
- Sorbitol is also known to be a low cal sugar-free sweetener hence widely used in chewing gums, toothpaste, bakery products, ice creams, diet drinks, confectionery products.
- Medicinally it is used in cough syrup and it also has mild laxative property due to which Sorbitol is known to be effective in dealing with constipation. It is quite beneficial for diabetic people.
Potential Side Effects Of Sorbitol
No major side effect of Sorbitol is known when taken in moderation. But excess of anything is bad for your health. Just as every good thing in life comes with its own set of pros and cons. Similarly, Sorbitol also has some side effects. Let’s get into the details of knowing more about its side effects.
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers should try to avoid the intake of Sorbitol on a regular basis.
- Sorbitol intolerance is very common is children and adults as well. Sorbitol intolerance mainly affects the digestive system resulting in abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, gas and diarrhoea.
- People suffering from IBS .i.e irritable bowel syndrome are not able to absorb Sorbitol properly, resulting in IBS flare-ups resulting in abdominal pain, bloating and general body fatigue.
- Sorbitol acts as a mild laxative which helps to deal with constipation, but when taken in larger amount can result in diarrhoea and stomach cramps.
- Long term intake of Sorbitol can cause gut issues, hence it is not advisable to be taken on a daily basis.
Sorbitol is loaded with hydrating and nourishing properties due to which it has become the latest trend in the beauty world. In order to harness the beauty benefits of Sorbitol, it is extensively used in many leading skincare and haircare products. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol which is a low cal sweetener and is used in trace amount in many beverages, bakery and confectionery products. Generally, Sorbitol is considered to be safe when taken in trace amounts. It is considered to be the most simple, safe and cheap alternative for sugar. As it is slowly metabolized in the small intestine and it shows relatively less effect on the plasma glucose levels. Hence, it is considered to be safe for everyone even for people suffering from diabetes.
Written By - Akhila Menon
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