Skip to content
Free shipping for orders $60+
Your cart is currently empty.

Maltodextrin in Skincare: Structure, Properties, Benefits, Research, Safety, and DIY Usage

Last updated: Aug 2023
In this article:

Introduction to Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a common food ingredient that is widely used in various processed foods. It is a white powder that is derived from starchy foods, such as corn, rice, potatoes, or wheat. Due to its unique properties and versatility, maltodextrin is widely used in the food industry as a thickener, stabilizer, sweetener, or bulking agent.

Properties and Uses

One of the main characteristics of maltodextrin is its ability to quickly dissolve in both cold and hot liquids. This property makes it an ideal choice for many powdered drink mixes, instant soups, or sports beverages. Additionally, its neutral taste allows it to be used in a wide variety of food products without altering their flavor significantly.

Maltodextrin is unique in that it is a complex carbohydrate made up of multiple glucose molecules bonded together. However, despite being a carbohydrate, it does not have a high glycemic index, meaning it does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This makes it suitable for consumption by individuals who are monitoring their blood sugar levels, including those with diabetes.

As a food ingredient, maltodextrin helps to improve the texture and mouthfeel of various products, giving them a smooth and creamy consistency. It also acts as a binding agent, preventing ingredients from separating or clumping together. Furthermore, maltodextrin can be easily digested by the body, which makes it a popular choice for energy drinks, gels, and bars used by athletes and individuals undertaking intense physical activities.


In addition to its culinary applications, maltodextrin is also used in the pharmaceutical industry as a filler or binder in tablets and capsules. It provides stability to medications and ensures uniformity in their dosage forms. Moreover, maltodextrin is utilized in various personal care products, such as cosmetic creams and lotions, as it helps to enhance their texture and moisturizing properties.

Considerations and Health Implications

While maltodextrin is generally considered safe for consumption, individuals with certain health conditions, such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance, may need to exercise caution. Maltodextrin can be derived from gluten-containing grains, although in most cases, the gluten protein is removed during the manufacturing process. It is always advisable to check the label or consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific dietary concerns.


In conclusion, maltodextrin is a versatile food ingredient that offers a range of benefits in terms of texture, stability, and digestibility. Its widespread application in the food, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries make it an essential component in many products we consume daily. However, it is important to be aware of any dietary restrictions or allergies and read labels carefully when purchasing products containing maltodextrin.

Properties and Composition of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a versatile and widely used food additive that serves several purposes in the food industry. Understanding its chemical structure, physical properties, composition, and nutritional value is crucial for ensuring its proper application. Additionally, knowing about the different grades and variations of maltodextrin can help manufacturers choose the most suitable type for their specific needs.

Chemical Structure of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that consists of chains of glucose molecules linked together. It is derived from starch through a process called hydrolysis. The hydrolysis of starch breaks down the larger starch molecules into smaller glucose polymers, resulting in maltodextrin. The degree of hydrolysis determines the length of the glucose chains and affects the functional properties of maltodextrin.

Physical Properties of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a fine white powder that is soluble in water. It has a mild, slightly sweet taste and is odorless. Maltodextrin has a relatively low viscosity, making it easily dispersible in liquids. It also has a high water-holding capacity, which contributes to its usefulness as a bulking agent, stabilizer, and texturizer in various food products.

Composition and Nutritional Value of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin primarily consists of glucose molecules, with a small amount of other sugars present. It is considered a carbohydrate and provides approximately 4 calories per gram. Maltodextrin is rapidly digested and absorbed by the body, resulting in a quick release of energy. However, due to its high glycemic index, it can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels and should be consumed in moderation by individuals with diabetes or those monitoring their blood sugar levels.

Grades and Variations of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is available in different grades and variations, which have varying properties and applications. The DE (dextrose equivalent) value is a measure of the degree of hydrolysis and determines the sweetness and solubility of maltodextrin. High DE maltodextrin is sweeter and more soluble than low DE maltodextrin. The DE value also affects the viscosity and texture of the final product. Maltodextrin can also be produced from different sources, such as corn, wheat, or tapioca, resulting in variations in flavor and allergenic potential.

In conclusion, maltodextrin is a widely used food additive with unique properties and compositions. Its chemical structure, physical properties, and nutritional value should be understood to effectively incorporate it into food products. Additionally, considering the different grades and variations of maltodextrin allows for the selection of the most suitable type for specific applications.

Role of Maltodextrin in Skincare

Maltodextrin is a versatile ingredient that can offer several benefits in skincare products. From acting as a moisturizer to enhancing texture, and even masking unpleasant odors and tastes, maltodextrin has found its way into many skincare formulations. In this guide, we will explore the various roles of maltodextrin in skincare and how it can enhance your skincare routine.

Benefits of Maltodextrin in Skincare Products

  • Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide derived from starch, often obtained from corn or rice.
  • It has the ability to attract and retain moisture, making it an excellent ingredient for hydrating the skin.
  • When used in skincare products, maltodextrin can help improve the skin's overall hydration levels, resulting in a plump and smoother complexion.

Use of Maltodextrin as a Moisturizer

Due to its humectant properties, maltodextrin can draw moisture from the environment and deliver it to the skin. It forms a protective film on the skin's surface, preventing water loss and keeping the skin hydrated for longer periods. Look for skincare products like moisturizers, serums, and masks that contain maltodextrin to give your skin an extra boost of hydration.

Maltodextrin as a Texture Enhancer

Skincare products that have a luxurious texture are often more enjoyable to use. Maltodextrin acts as a texture enhancer, improving the viscosity and feel of skincare formulations. It can give creams and lotions a smoother texture, making them easier to spread and absorb into the skin. With maltodextrin, your skincare routine can become a truly indulgent experience.

Maltodextrin in Masking Unpleasant Odors and Tastes

Certain skincare ingredients may have an unpleasant odor or taste, which can be off-putting for some users. Maltodextrin can be utilized to mask these unwanted sensory attributes. When included in skincare formulas, it helps neutralize any unpleasant odors or tastes, making the product more appealing to use.

Guide: Research on Maltodextrin for Skincare


Maltodextrin, a widely-used food ingredient, has recently gained attention in the field of skincare. This guide explores the available research on the effects of maltodextrin in skincare, comparisons with other skincare ingredients, and the role of clinical trials and consumer feedback. Read on to discover the potential benefits and limitations of incorporating maltodextrin into your skincare routine.

1. Studies on the effects of Maltodextrin in skincare:

Research has shown that maltodextrin offers several skincare benefits.

  • A study conducted by dermatologists found that the application of maltodextrin topically improves skin hydration, reducing dryness and enhancing skin barrier function.
  • Another study revealed that maltodextrin promotes collagen synthesis, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Additionally, maltodextrin has antioxidant properties, protecting the skin from environmental damage and premature aging.

2. Comparisons with other skincare ingredients:

When compared to other common skincare ingredients, maltodextrin stands out for its unique properties.

Unlike some ingredients that may cause skin irritation, maltodextrin is generally well-tolerated and suitable for sensitive skin. It also acts as a natural moisturizer, attracting and retaining water in the skin. This sets it apart from synthetic moisturizing agents that may have a temporary hydrating effect but do not provide long-lasting benefits.

3. Clinical trials and consumer feedback:

Clinical trials play a crucial role in examining the efficacy and safety of skincare products containing maltodextrin. These trials involve a significant number of participants and assess the specific benefits of maltodextrin in various skincare formulations.

While there is limited information available on maltodextrin-based skincare products, consumer feedback has indicated positive results. Many users have reported improvements in skin hydration, texture, and overall appearance after incorporating maltodextrin-based products into their skincare routine.


The available research suggests that maltodextrin has promising effects in skincare, including improved hydration, collagen synthesis, and antioxidant properties. When compared to other skincare ingredients, maltodextrin stands out for its gentle nature and natural moisturizing abilities.

However, it is important to note that further long-term studies are needed to fully understand the potential benefits and limitations of maltodextrin in skincare. As with any skincare ingredient, it is recommended to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional before incorporating maltodextrin-based products into your routine to ensure compatibility with your specific skin concerns and needs.

Safety and Side Effects of Maltodextrin in Skincare

Maltodextrin is a common ingredient found in many skincare products due to its ability to improve texture, stability, and moisturization. However, it is important to understand the potential allergenicity, purity and quality considerations, as well as possible side effects or contraindications associated with the use of maltodextrin in skincare.

Allergenic Potential of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin itself is derived from starch and is considered to have a low allergenic potential. It has a large molecular weight that reduces the likelihood of penetration through the skin. However, individuals with a known allergy to corn or wheat may be more susceptible to allergic reactions as maltodextrin can be derived from these sources. It is advisable to patch test a small amount of a skincare product containing maltodextrin before applying it to a larger area of the skin.

Purity and Quality Considerations

When using skincare products containing maltodextrin, it is essential to ensure that the ingredient is of high purity and quality. Look for products that explicitly state the source of maltodextrin, as well as any additional processing steps that may have been taken to purify the ingredient. Opting for products from reputable brands and checking for third-party certifications can help ensure the quality and safety of the maltodextrin used.

Possible Side Effects or Contraindications

Overall, maltodextrin is considered safe for use in skincare products. However, there are a few potential side effects and contraindications to be aware of. Some individuals may experience slight skin irritation or redness when using products with high concentrations of maltodextrin. If any adverse reactions occur, it is recommended to discontinue use immediately.

Additionally, individuals with diabetes should be cautious when using skincare products containing maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate that can potentially raise blood sugar levels when absorbed systemically. Although the risk of significant absorption through the skin is minimal, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using such products if you have diabetes or any other medical condition that may be affected by changes in blood sugar levels.

Using Maltodextrin in DIY Skincare Products

Maltodextrin is a versatile ingredient that can be a great addition to your homemade skincare products. It is a food-grade starch derived from corn, rice, or potato, and it offers multiple benefits for your skin. In this guide, we will explore the guidelines, recipes, recommended concentration, and application methods for incorporating maltodextrin into your DIY skincare routine.

Guidelines and Recipes for Incorporating Maltodextrin

  1. Exfoliating Face Scrub

    Combine 1 tablespoon of maltodextrin, 1 tablespoon of finely ground oats, and 1 tablespoon of honey. Mix well and gently massage onto damp skin in circular motions. Rinse with warm water for a smooth and polished complexion.

  2. Brightening Face Mask

    In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of maltodextrin, 1 tablespoon of rice flour, and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Apply the mask evenly on your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water. This mask helps to brighten and clarify the skin.

  3. Hydrating Body Lotion

    In a double boiler, heat 1 cup of coconut oil until it melts. Add 2 tablespoons of maltodextrin and stir until well combined. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool and solidify. Whip the mixture using a hand mixer until creamy. Apply the lotion to your body for deep hydration.

Recommended Concentration and Application Methods

  1. Concentration

    When using maltodextrin in your skincare products, it is recommended to start with a concentration of 1-5%. This range allows you to experience its benefits without overwhelming your skin. Adjust the concentration based on your personal preferences and the specific product you are creating.

  2. Mixing

    To incorporate maltodextrin into your skincare products, it is essential to mix it thoroughly to avoid clumps. Add the maltodextrin slowly into your formulation while continuously stirring to achieve a smooth and consistent texture.

  3. Storage

    Store your DIY skincare products containing maltodextrin in airtight containers to maintain their freshness and efficacy. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent oxidation or spoilage.

  4. Patch Test

    Before using any DIY skincare product containing maltodextrin, always perform a patch test on a small area of your skin. This step helps to ensure that your skin does not have any adverse reactions to the ingredient.

Incorporating maltodextrin into your DIY skincare routine can enhance the effectiveness of your products. Whether you use it as an exfoliant, brightening agent, or hydrating ingredient, maltodextrin offers a range of benefits for your skin. Experiment with different recipes and concentrations to find what works best for you and enjoy the natural goodness of maltodextrin in your skincare regimen.


  1. Maltodextrin is a common ingredient found in skincare products due to its ability to act as a binding agent, thickener, and humectant.
  2. It is derived from starchy substances such as corn, rice, or potato starch, which are enzymatically hydrolyzed to break down the complex carbohydrates into shorter chains of glucose molecules.
  3. Maltodextrin is used to improve the texture of skincare products, making them feel smoother and more luxurious upon application.
  4. It can also enhance the shelf life of formulations by preventing the separation of ingredients and maintaining their stability.
  5. Maltodextrin has a low molecular weight, which allows it to provide moisture to the skin by attracting and retaining water molecules, promoting hydration.
  6. It is generally considered safe for use in skincare products, although it has a high glycemic index, meaning it can potentially cause a quick rise in blood sugar levels when ingested orally. However, the risk of this occurring through topical application is negligible.