Glyceryl stearate S/E differs from Glyceryl stearate in that it contains a small amount of sodium and potassium stearate. The addition of these components allows it to self emulsify and thus not require both the presence of oil and water.
As with glyceryl stearate, an a valuable characteristic is the ability to make the oils which are combined in the emulsion non greasy, so for example Sunflower can be combined, without adding greasiness to the final product. This allows creams and lotions to be produced which carry the properties of the oil without adding greasiness to the final formulation.
Glyceryl stearate S/E is useful for adding texture and thickness to oil, wax and butter balms that do not contain water. The self emulsifying properties improving the texture and feel of the final product.
Often Glyceryl stearate S/E is combined with Glyceryl stearate in a cream formulation to increase stability of the final product.