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Confusion gluconolactone et glucuronolactone.

Do Not Confuse Gluconolactone and Glucuronolactone.

Gluconolactone and glucuronolactone are natural chemical ingredients obtained from glucose. Often confused because of their almost identical name, these two elements are however different. Find out how to differentiate between both compounds.

Published March 11, 2024, by Sandrine, Scientific Editor — 9 min read

What Is Gluconolactone?

Being part of the polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), gluconolactone is an organic acid used as a cosmetic active ingredient, but also in food as an additive.  Gluconolactone, also called glucono-delta-lactone, is naturally found in nature and in certain foods such as honey.

Gluconolactone is an odorless white crystalline powder. It is transformed into gluconic acid when it comes into contact with the skin's moisture. Its application causes a keratolytic effect, i.e. it eliminates the dead cells on the surface of the skin by disturbing the cohesion of the corneocytes between them.

This active ingredient is also interesting thanks to its hydrating properties, allowing it to reinforce the hydrolipidic barrier. This is possible because of the presence of numerous hydroxyl functions (OH) in the chemical structure of gluconolactone. These hydroxyl functions establish hydrogen bonds with water which decreases the transepidermal water loss.

It also has antioxidant properties that protect the skin from external aggressions and fight against free radicals, responsible for the signs of aging.

Compared to alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), PHA is milder. In fact, they have a higher molecular weight and therefore penetrate less deeply into the skin. Thus, they are well tolerated by sensitive skin.

What Is Glucuronolactone?

Glucuronolactone or Glucuronic acid lactone is a sugar found naturally in the body. It can be of vegetable origin or obtained by oxidation of starch from nitric acid. This ingredient is mainly used in energy drinks. Its effect is similar to that of caffeine, and helps to fight against fatigue and provide a feeling of well-being.

Gluconolactone in Our Care Products.

At Typology, we have different products based on gluconolactone:

  • The peeling mask unclogs pores, renews the skin and evens out the complexion. Composed of an exfoliating complex based on AHA and PHA, it eliminates dead cells and refines the skin texture. Applied once or twice a week, it also helps to reduce the presence of blackheads over time. However, due to its high concentration of AHA, its application is not recommended for sensitive skin.

  • The anti-marks serum:

    Thanks to gluconolactone, which promotes the elimination of dead skin cells, this serum reduces the appearance of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation due to acne (in combination with licorice extract, which decreases melanin production) and hypertrophic scars. Thanks to its moisturizing properties, it will help the skin maintain its hydration and thus reduce the risk of skin dryness. This serum also contains Centella asiatica, which is a powerful healing, soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredient. This serum is used locally, preferably in the evening.

  • Exfoliating cleansing gel:

    This is a cleansing care designed to eliminate impurities, excess sebum and pollution residues accumulated on the epidermis. It is the gluconolactone contained in the care which is going to micro-exfoliate the skin and to unclog the pores. It also supports the natural hydration of the skin. The presence of aloe vera gel helps to moisturize, repair and soothe the skin.  The essential oil of sweet orange which it contains has ideal antibacterial properties to fight against the buttons.

  • Scalp scrub:

    It offers a double exfoliation of the scalp: chemical with gluconolactone, and mechanical with jojoba beads and silica powder. The scalp is healthy, rebalanced and rid of its dead cells. The mechanical exfoliation action combined with peppermint essential oil accelerates hair growth by stimulating microcirculation. Moreover, the essential oil of eucalyptus globulus which it contains calms the irritations of the scalp and limits the appearance of dandruff. Finally, gluconolactone and aloe vera stimulate the natural hydration of the scalp. This scrub should be used once or twice a week on a dry scalp. Despite the presence of essential oils, this product can be used by pregnant and nursing women.


  • KSENZNKO S. M. & al. The polyhydroxy acid gluconolactone protects against ultraviolet radiation in an in vitro model of cutaneous photoaging. Dermatological Surgery (2004).

  • ROTSZTEJN H. & al. Corneometry evaluation of skin moisture after apply of 10% and 30% gluconolactone. Skin Research and Technology (2021).


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