Found in many fruits, vegetables, and other plants, fructose is a simple monosaccharide commonly known as “fruit sugar.” Fructose is found in honey, tree and vine fruits, berries, flowers, and most root vegetables. It may be present on its own or as a component of sucrose. In nature, fructose is important as it gives plants and fruits the energy to grow. When ingested, fructose is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Fructose in its pure, dry form is white, very sweet, and odorless. It is the most water-soluble sugar available, making it a popular ingredient in many beverages.
When used commercially, fructose is most often derived from sugar cane, sugar beets, and corn. All forms of fructose that are used in foods and drinks contribute to taste. In baked goods, fructose can improve browning. Fructose is often referenced when talking about high-fructose corn syrup, a mixture of glucose and fructose that is used in many food and beverage products. High-fructose corn syrup is sometimes viewed controversially as it is believed to cause adverse health effects such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. However, further studies have shown that the risk is less severe than originally thought and that high-fructose corn syrup is safe for consumption. These dangers are limited to the ingestion of the product. Fructose in all forms is considered safe when used topically.
Fructose is a common ingredient in skin, hair, cosmetic, and beauty products. It can most commonly be found in formulas for bath products, cleansers, soaps, eye makeup, face powders, hair care products, and skin care products. Some hair products contain fructose to help strengthen and improve hair growth. Though scientific research does not confirm this to be a legitimate claim, the United States Food and Drug Administration considers fructose a safe substance and some benefits can be achieved. Fructose can help to moisturize hair, leaving it thicker and more resilient.
Fructose is known to have moisture-binding properties. This encourages more hydrated and radiant skin. Many products targeting dry or damaged skin will contain fructose to ensure that skin receives the proper amount of moisture to remain healthy. By promoting moisture retention, these products help to prevent excessive loss of moisture to the air. Skin that is unable to regulate its moisture retention needs additional help to achieve a healthy balance to look and feel its best.
The hydrating benefits provided by products containing fructose can also help to heal dry or irritated skin.
The hydrating benefits provided by products containing fructose can also help to heal dry or irritated skin. Fructose will naturally energize and enrich damaged skin cells, leaving them healthy and moisturized. Some restorative products for skin contain fructose to diminish dryness and improve skin’s appearance.
Another perceived benefit of fructose in skincare products is its usefulness in softening skin. Skin can become rough, dull, or irritated for a number of reasons. Environmental factors such as extreme weather, sunlight, wind, or varying temperatures can cause skin to need softening. Some lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, exercise, and sleep patterns can also impact the texture of one’s skin. For some, harsh treatments for conditions can leave the complexion dull or in need of a lift. Acne and anti-aging treatments can sometimes cause skin to become dry or irritated. In these instances, a product containing fructose can help to rejuvenate skin by nourishing, smoothing, and softening the skin. This softening effect also pertains to hair care products, leaving hair follicles smoother and softer after use.
Fructose provides a natural source of moisture and nourishment, helping to protect skin and hair from potential environmental damage.
In many cases, fructose also acts as a preservative. In food products, fructose helps to extend the shelf life of many products, making it possible to store them for longer periods of time without detrimental effects. Fructose can have similar benefits in skincare and hair care products. While these formulas are typically not as perishable as food products, fructose helps to ensure a product’s effectiveness for a longer period of time.
Many beauty product manufacturers use fructose because it is a natural ingredient. As it is derived from fruits and other living plants, many natural skincare and hair care lines prefer it to other chemical alternatives. Fructose provides a natural source of moisture and nourishment, helping to protect skin and hair from potential environmental damage. It also acts as a natural preservative, extending the life of a product without adding potentially irritating preservatives. With an increasing emphasis on safe and natural beauty, cosmetic, and hair products, fructose is becoming a more common ingredient for many companies.