Glyceryl stearate is a naturally derived emulsifier that can be used in w/o or o/w emulsions. Typically, it is derived from vegetable sources through a chemical reaction with glycerin.
It can be also used as a co-emulsifier to help stabilize a product or increase viscosity and thickness of a product. It provides stability, texture, and consistency to formulations.
The main function is to allow oil and water to mix together. This chemical is found in a variety of products ranging from skin and haircare to make-up. Usually this material is used in creams and lotions. It is stable over a wide pH range as well.