The natural waxes used in Cosmetics can be of different origins :
- Mineral : extracted from the subsoil like minerals, but formed of organic molecules; During the distillation of crude oils, a section corresponding to paraffins and waxes is obtained in a temperature zone ranging from 400°C to 500°C. They are saturated hydrocarbons with carbon numbers between 18 and 40 (or even 50 or 60). Waxes have long and branched chains which gives them a microcrystalline structure. Paraffins have slightly shorter and linear (unbranched) chains which gives them a macro crystalline structure.
- Vegetable : : these are esters of fatty acids and fatty alcohols. Natural fatty acids are saturated or unsaturated linear chain carboxylic acids, the most important of which contain 12 to 22 carbon atoms in even numbers. Several pieces of data characterise natural waxes and provide information on their composition, such as the acid number, the saponification index, and the iodine number. The most used vegetable waxes in cosmetic formulations are Carnauba, Jojoba and Candelilla waxes.
- Animal : the most used wax in cosmetics is beeswax. Beeswax consists of approximately 71% esters, 15% linear long-chain hydrocarbons, 13% free acids, and 1% free alcohols. Its acidity index is between 15 and 23; its iodine value between 6 and 12; its saponification index between 85 and 105.
Waxes are very widely used in many applications as they are multifunctional: as emollients, texturisers, thickeners just as cosmetic vegetal butters, protectors, etc., they enhance the stability of cosmetic formulations and improve their sensoriality.
The melting point of the waxes used in cosmetic formulations is very important and determines their behaviour; the higher the melting point of a wax, the more it will bring texture and consistency, whereas a wax with a lower melting point will bring more emollience and less texture.
Beeswax or Cera Alba is produced by honey bees. They metabolize the honey in fat cells. The newly produced wax is usually colourless, but depending on the flowers from which the honey is produced, the bees that produce it, and also the presence of other bees in the hive potentially contaminating the wax with other pollens, beeswax can have various colors from white to yellow or brown.
According to its temperature, beeswax can have two different textures : hard and breakable when cold, soft when heated.
Beeswax has many benefits when integrated to cosmetic formulas : it helps avoiding a separation in the oily phase of the formulation, and is a thickener allowing to add structure to the final product.
Beeswax has various properties allowing hydration and soothing of the skin. It is a great ally for irritated skins for instance, or for damaged hair thanks to its nourishing action.
Beeswax is a precious ingredient with multiple benefits but is an animal-sourced ingredient. As the demand for more vegan products grows in the cosmetic industry, formulators tend to look for alternatives to animal-derived ingredients.
Candelilla wax comes from the leaves of a small tree from the Euphorbiaceae family. It is originally native of Mexico and southwestern Texas area. The name of this schrub comes from its candle-like stems, covered in a waxy texture. During the rainy season, the candelilla produces small pink flowers. This plant is very resistant, and has an interesting protective system : the sap of this small tree covers the stalks with wax during the dry season to prevent evaporation, allowing the plant to survive in
Candelilla wax is a good ingredient for formulations as it is also a thickening agent. It is known to have an influence on the viscosity of the formula and is a good emollient. This wax has good binding properties : it is an effective ingredients emulsifier and can easily be added to a formula.
Candelilla wax has many properties, offering various opportunities for its use in cosmetics. It is mainly known for its moisturizing properties, and brings ease in the spreadability of the formula. It also is a good sensoriality ally as it has a firming action and brings structure to make-up products
such as balms or lipsticks for instance.
This vegetable sourced wax is an interesting ingredient but is versatile and its sourcing is uncertain as it is submitted to environmental and political conditions.
Carnauba wax comes from the leaves of a palmtree, Copernicia Prunifera. It is originally native of the northeastern Brazilian area. This tree is said to be « the tree of life » because of the many opportunities it brings to populatron cultivating it. Copernicia Prunifera is also the symbol to a specific state of Brazil : Cearà. This palm tree can leave for two hundred years and is also know as the « carnauba palm tree ». Highly adaptable, it can spread to large territories although it is an endemic
species of this region of the world. It presents a sort of waxy coating on its leaves, which is harvested to become Carnauba wax.
Carnauba wax presents similar properties to other vegetable wax such as the emollient properties. In addition to it, it has hypoallergenic properties, offers a glossy finish to the formula, and is used in many applications, from skin care to make up products, such as foundations
Sunflower wax comes from the seeds of sunflower (Heliantus annus) that pressed to obtain the sunflower oil. Commonly used as a frying oil for cooking, sunflower oil is also used in cosmetics, as an emollient or as a source for sunflower wax.
Sunflower wax is used in cosmetics just as carnauba and candelilla wax for its thickening and structurant properties, but also as an emollient. Its various application allows formulators to use this ingredient in their make up formulas, mainly for lipsticks or mascaras for instance.
Our mission as a manufacturer of natural alternatives to synthetic ingredients is to offer natural substitutes to support you in bringing more naturality to your formula. Vaseline substitues, Silicone Alternatives, Sophim also offers natural waxes, a susbtitute to synthetic ones, a non animal-derived ingredients. We wish to create an opportunity for the formulators to claim a vegan-free formula.
Our Phytowax are olive sourced, which secures the sourcing :