Saccharide Isomerate: What Is It, Skin Benefits & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: November 5, 2023
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Delving into the realm of cosmetic ingredients can seem like unraveling an intricate scientific puzzle, with an array of chemical and botanical names that often appear enigmatic to those without specialized knowledge in chemistry.

One such ingredient that might catch your discerning eye is Saccharide Isomerate. In this deep dive, we’re peeling back the layers of Saccharide Isomerate, a darling of the skincare world for its moisture-magnet prowess. We will discuss its functions, benefits, and suitability for different skin types in cosmetics!

What is Saccharide Isomerate?

Saccharide Isomerate is a hydrating ingredient derived from plants, commonly found in skincare products. Sometimes listed as Pentavitin on ingredient labels, it acts as a humectant, which means it helps skin hold onto moisture, keeping it looking plump and dewy.

It works by imitating the skin’s natural moisturizing elements and strongly attaches to the skin’s keratin—like a magnet to metal—helping the skin to maintain moisture and stay hydrated for longer than many other similar ingredients.

Regarding concentration, Saccharide Isomerate is commonly used between 0.1% and 5% and is often found synergizing with other ingredients in a wider formulation; it is not commonly available as a standalone product for consumers due to its targeted role and efficacy as part of a compound.

Who Can Use Saccharide Isomerate?

Saccharide Isomerate is a versatile ingredient that’s beneficial for any skin type, whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin. It’s a humectant that helps maintain your skin’s moisture levels, and because it’s gentle and mimics natural skin moisturizers, it’s also suitable for sensitive skin.

Since it’s derived from plants, Saccharide Isomerate is appropriate for vegans and vegetarians.

It’s also considered safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, offering a way to keep their skin hydrated without risk to themselves or their baby. However, we still recommend that you err on the side of caution and consult a healthcare professional during these sensitive times.

Saccharide Isomerate Skin Benefits

Saccharide Isomerate is a skincare champion with several benefits. Here’s a closer look at the advantages it offers when included in cosmetic formulations:

  • Mimics Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs): Saccharide Isomerate has a unique affinity for the skin due to its structure that echoes the natural carbohydrates found within the skin’s own Natural Moisturizing Factors. By emulating these critical hydrating elements, it binds more effectively to the skin, supporting its innate ability to retain moisture and protect against environmental stressors. This biomimetic property is key to its deep, long-lasting hydrating effects, which help in sustaining a smooth and well-hydrated skin surface.
  • Long-lasting Moisture Retention: What sets Saccharide Isomerate apart is its capacity to form a unique bond with the stratum corneum, the outer layer of the skin. This bond creates a moisture barrier that remains even after washing, providing a continuous hydrating effect. The long-lasting retention of moisture helps maintain skin flexibility and prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which can lead to dryness and irritation.
  • Supports Skin’s Natural Barrier: Adequate hydration is essential for a strong skin barrier, and Saccharide Isomerate contributes significantly in this area. By ensuring the skin remains hydrated, it helps to reinforce the skin’s own defenses against environmental aggressors. A robust barrier is less susceptible to the detrimental effects of pollutants and other irritants, which in turn helps to reduce the incidence of reactive skin conditions.
  • Reduces Flakiness and Roughness: Dry skin often appears flaky and rough, detracting from a smooth complexion. Saccharide Isomerate, with its superior moisture-binding capabilities, combats these issues by promoting a balanced hydration level within the skin. Regular use can lead to a noticeable reduction in flakiness and an improvement in overall skin smoothness, rendering a softer and more even-textured skin surface.
  • Enhances Skin Elasticity: Skin elasticity relies heavily on adequate and consistent hydration. Saccharide Isomerate’s hydration benefits support the skin’s natural elastin and collagen, which are pivotal for a firm and supple skin structure. Through its moisture-retention qualities, it helps to maintain the skin’s bounce and resilience, which is often associated with a youthful appearance.

It is important to note that while Saccharide Isomerate can work wonders in enhancing the skin’s hydration and overall health, these effects are indeed not permanent. To maintain the benefits, one must continue to use the ingredient consistently as part of their skincare routine.

Saccharide Isomerate Potential Side Effects

Individual reactions to skincare ingredients, including Saccharide Isomerate, can vary significantly. This variability stems from the unique composition of our skin, which is influenced by factors like genetics, current skin condition, environmental exposure, and even our lifestyle. Understanding your skin type is crucial as it determines how your skin might react to different substances.

When it comes to Saccharide Isomerate, while it is generally well-tolerated due to its nature of being identical to the skin’s own moisturizers, some potential side effects could include:

  • Mild Irritation: In rare cases, individuals may experience mild irritation, manifesting as redness or a tingling sensation.
  • Allergic Reactions: As with any ingredient, there is a small chance of an allergic reaction, which could lead to symptoms like itching, swelling, or a rash.

If you encounter any of these side effects, it is advisable to discontinue use immediately and consult a dermatologist or skincare professional. They can provide guidance and, if necessary, recommend an alternative product that’s better suited to your skin’s idiosyncrasies.

Despite these potential side effects, it’s important to underscore that adverse reactions to Saccharide Isomerate are uncommon. Generally, it is considered safe for use and effective, particularly in terms of its hydrating abilities.

When introducing any new product into your regimen, especially those containing active ingredients like Saccharide Isomerate, it’s essential to conduct a patch test. A patch test can help predict if you’ll have an adverse reaction to a new product. Here’s our comprehensive patch-testing guide that walks you through the process. It’s a simple step that can save your skin a lot of potential stress and ensure the product’s compatibility with your skin.

Comedogenic Rating

Assigning a comedogenic rating to Saccharide Isomerate, we would place it at a 0. This means it’s non-comedogenic and not known to clog pores. This rating is rooted in the molecular structure and behavior of Saccharide Isomerate; it is a water-binding agent that hydrates the skin without affecting the integrity of the pores. Consequently, it’s suitable for those who are prone to acne and breakouts, as it promotes hydration without contributing to the formation of comedones.


To achieve success in skincare, it’s often about finding the right ingredients that work for you through experimentation, and once you find them, it’s about consistency. Saccharide Isomerate, known for its exceptional moisture-retention properties, has become a valued ingredient for those looking to enhance their skin’s hydration levels.

Saccharide Isomerate is one such gem in the treasure trove of skincare, noteworthy for its exceptional hydrating qualities. It is a testament to the ingenuity of cosmetic science, providing deep and lasting moisture to the skin without the risk of pore blockages.

While not a household name, Saccharide Isomerate’s popularity in formulations is rising due to its profound effects. It’s not as common as other humectants like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, but it shares a similar hydrating ethos with these more familiar ingredients.

As for the timeline to witness its benefits, like many skincare ingredients, results from Saccharide Isomerate are not overnight miracles. Consistent use over a period of weeks is usually necessary before noticeable improvements in skin hydration and texture appear.

For those harboring concerns about integrating Saccharide Isomerate into their skincare routine, the key takeaway is its well-tolerated nature and compatibility with a wide range of skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin. It’s a skincare ingredient that offers a hydrating embrace, inviting all who seek supple and nourished skin to indulge in its benefits.

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