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Mineral Waxes for Personal Care Products
July 10, 2019

Waxes are simple lipids, organic compounds which are fatty acids and are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents.  They are malleable solids at room temperature, and generally melt into low viscosity liquid above 120o F.  Natural waxes are produced by plants and animals, and they occur in petroleum.  Commercial waxes are typically derived from crude oil refining processes and extensively purified to enable safe use. 

Mineral waxes used in cosmetics include ozokerite, ceresin, paraffin, and microcrystalline wax.  Ozokerite and ceresin wax are derived from coal and shale, while paraffin and microcrystalline wax are derived from petroleum.  Emulsifying wax, synthetic wax, and synthetic beeswax are manufactured waxes.  All these waxes are used in a wide range of cosmetics and personal care products including baby products, makeup, nail care, skin care, sunscreen, fragrance, and shampoo, where they serve to thicken the oil portion of the product and help keep emulsions from separating into their oil and liquid components.  Waxes also serve to reduce brittleness of stick products such as deodorant and lipstick while adding strength and stability.

Ozokerite is a naturally occurring fossil wax extracted from coal and shale.  Most commercial ozokerite is obtained from mining in Eastern Europe.  Crude ozokerite is black, while after refining its color ranges from yellow to white.  It hardens with age and has a higher melting point than most waxes (ranging from 140o F to 170o F).  Ceresin is purified form of ozokerite wax that is white to yellow and is commonly used as an alternative to beeswax in ointments. 

Paraffin and microcrystalline wax are petroleum distillation products.   Paraffin solidifies into plates, while microcrystalline wax solidifies into small, poorly defined needles.  Paraffin wax is often used for skin softening treatments.  Microcrystalline wax is generally tougher, more flexible, and higher in melting point than paraffin wax, and tends to have a wider range of industrial uses in addition to being an alternative to paraffin in cosmetic applications. 

Independent Chemical Corporation offers a full range of cosmetics ingredients including ozokerite wax, ceresin wax, paraffin wax, and microcrystalline waxContact us today for a quote.   


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