The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients


CAS Number 9005-25-8
Chem/IUPAC Name: 5-[5-[3,4-dihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)-5-methoxyoxan-2-yl]oxy-6-[[3,4-dihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)-5-methoxyoxan-2-yl]oxymethyl]-3,4-dihydroxyoxan-2-yl]oxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)-2-methyloxane-3,4-diol
EINECS/ELINCS No: 232-679-6
COSING REF No: 38946
Zea mays starch or Zea mays corn starch is a substance with a high polymeric carbohydrate content that is typically made from the peeled seeds of the corn plant (Zea mays). This starch and other ingredients of the corn plant like corn oil and corn powder are widely used in the cosmetics and personal care industry due to their numerous functions such as abrasives, surfactants, skin and hair conditioning.

What is ZEA MAYS STARCH used for?

Zea mays starch has many uses like abrasive action, absorbent property, surfactant and cleansing, skin, and hair-conditioning, and viscosity controlling properties. For a smooth application, it is used in emulsions (lotions, hair masks).
  • Skin care: It can be used in mineral makeup, powder foundations, and eyeshadows. It has some mattifying properties that help with greasiness and are good for oily skin. In place of talc, a clay mineral that serves as a mattifying and absorbent agent, it is used. Zea Mays starch is used as a thickening agent and absorbs oils more effectively. It also provides products with efficient spreadability, thereby preventing caking. Significant compatibility with other ingredients enables a broader use in cosmetics


Warm water with dissolved sulphur dioxide is used to soften cleaned corn kernels in order to produce corn starch. Starch and protein are separated with the help of sulphurous acid, which is created when sulphur dioxide and water react. In order to remove the hull and separate the germ from the starch-rich endosperm, softened corn kernels are then run through mild attrition mills. The attrition mills produce a thick slurry of macerated kernels and whole germ after the addition of water. The method for isolating the germ is density centrifugation. The remaining hull and endosperm mixture is crushed and screened. Finer protein and starch particles pass through while larger hull particles are retained on screens and removed. By using centrifugation, the water slurry of starch and gluten protein is separated.

The process of treating the slurry of washed corn starch with diluted mineral acid at an elevated temperature but below the gelatinization temperature for varying amounts of time results in hydrolyzed corn starch. The starch is filtered, washed, and dried after the acid has been neutralized with sodium carbonate and when it has reached the desired viscosity.

What does ZEA MAYS STARCH do in a formulation?

  • Abrasive
  • Absorbent
  • Anticaking
  • Skin protecting
  • Viscosity controlling

Safety profile

Zea mays starch has been determined to be safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The panel has determined that the chemical characterization of each ingredient for which data are available is sufficient to apply those data to ingredients with similar composition, despite the fact that there are no safety test data available for all of the corn ingredients.

ZEA MAYS STARCH Alternatives

Technical profile

Property Values
Melting Point 256-258°C
pH 5.0-7.0 (25°C, 2% in solution)
Solubility Soluble in hot water
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