Decyl glucoside is a nonionic surfactant, and it can function as both a cleansing agent and as an emulsifier.
As a cleansing agent, this ingredient is very mild on the skin. It can be used as the sole cleansing ingredient, or it can be used in conjunction with anionic and amphoteric surfactants to boost cleansing and foaming.
As an emulsifier, decyl glucoside will produce oil-in-water emulsions. Generally, it is paired as a co-emulsifier with other emulsifiers, such as cetearyl alcohol or glyceryl stearate. Decyl glucoside is supplied as a pale yellow viscous liquid and is naturally derived from vegetable oils and starch.