What it is: A natural ingredient (polysaccharide) used as a thickening agent, texture enhancer, and to stabilize emulsions. It is also used to create a gel-like consistency in cosmetics and can be added to certain foods, like salad dressing.
Benefits: May not be an active ingredient, but its use in skincare is significant for product texture and formulation. Not known to have any toxic or harmful side effects, can be appropriate for use in natural and organic skincare and is thought to have some hydrating benefits for the skin.
Best for: Increasing the viscosity of liquids for optimal texture, binding other skin ingredients together, as well as being used in oil-and-water emulsions to keep the two phases separate.