Carnauba Wax is a natural “vegetable” wax derived from the leaves of the Copernicia cerifera botanical, more commonly known as the Carnauba Tree. During Brazil’s dry season, this Palm, which also goes by the name “The Tree of Life,” protects itself against moisture loss by secreting a coating on both sides of its leaves. This coating is Carnauba Wax. Its other common names include Brazil Wax, Ceara Wax, and Palm Wax.

This “Queen of Waxes” is one of the hardest natural waxes and is collected by first sun-drying the collected tree leaves. Next, the withered leaves are beaten in order to loosen their powdery wax coating, which is yellowish-brown in appearance and which usually falls off in flakes. Next, these wax flakes are melted, strained, and cooled before they go through the refining and bleaching process. The colour of the final product is contingent on the age of the leaves as well as the superiority of the processing method, though generally it is yellow or brownish-green. Carnauba Wax is available in both flake form or powder form, the latter being the most common form. There are three grades/types of Carnauba Wax: Types 1, 3, and 4 or T1, T3, and T4 for short. Each grade refers to its various levels of purity.

NDA’s Carnauba Wax is T1 grade. It ranges in color from pale-yellow to yellow and comes in the form of solid but brittle flakes that exude a sharp but pleasant aroma when melted. This grade of Carnauba Wax is commonly used to formulate cosmetics and personal care products as well as foods; however, NDA’s products are for topical application only. Alternatively, it is also suitable for various industrial purposes, such as creating wood finishes or for waterproofing particular materials.



The exceptionally high melting point of Carnauba Wax makes it ideal for enhancing the thermostability of cosmetic formulations, which preserves their physical or molecular composition when they are subjected to high heat. With a natural hardness, luster, and water-proofing quality, Carnauba Wax is reputed to be ideal for addition to candles as well as polishes, such as those for furniture or woods.

Its emulsifying, thickening, softening, and emollient properties make it a popular hypoallergenic additive to cosmetics such as face creams, deodorants, various categories of makeup, and sun-protectant products. In these products, Carnauba Wax acts as a natural binding agent that stretches their holding power, which increases the length of time that they remain on the skin or hair. This also makes it a popular ingredient in hair products, such as styling waxes, as well as in ointments, which need to remain on the skin for long periods of time in order to facilitate wound healing.

Carnauba Wax combines well with several other waxes from plant, animal, and mineral sources, as well as with various resins, whether natural or synthetic. In any of these combinations, Carnauba Wax boosts the binding properties of ingredients in emulsions, allowing liquids to bind easily with chemical ingredients, particularly oils. This helps create products with lasting creamy consistencies. When applied to formulations for stick products, such as deodorants, lipsticks, or stick foundations, the combination of Carnauba Wax with any of these other waxes helps to boost the density of the lipids. This in turn allows the products to retain their solid structures when they glide smoothly across the skin. This easy spreadability is what makes Carnauba Wax ideal for incorporation into makeup, as it keeps the form elastic rather than stiff and this yield gives makeup easy application as well as adjustability. These properties also make Carnauba Wax an ideal depilatory agent for temporarily removing unwanted body hair.



Carnauba Wax is insoluble in water but is soluble in alcohols and oils. To incorporate Carnauba Wax in cosmetic formulations, it must first be melted at a temperature of 84 ᵒC (183.20 ᵒF) then incorporated into the oil phases of emulsions.


When added to this kind of formulation…

Makeup Foundation, Lipstick

Eyeliner, Mascara, Eye Shadow

Moisturizers, Sun Care


Hair Care, Hair Removal

Salves, Balms


Candelilla Wax functions as a(n):

  • Hardening Agent
  • Thickening Agent
  • Plasticizer
  • Viscosity Modifier
  • Stabilizer
  • Emulsifier


It helps to:

  • Contribute shine/gloss
  • Provide smoothness and hardness to products that require a high melting point and a stiff consistency
  • Add texture and structure
  • Give solid and stick products their structures by enhancing the viscosity of their oil parts
  • Contribute a level of firmness to particular textures, such as that of eyeshadows, without causing them to harden
  • Emulsify immiscible liquids to prevent them from separating in formulations with creamy consistencies
  • Provide excellent glide/slip to cosmetics formulations for easy spreadability as well as easy removability
  • Complement other waxes, such as Beeswax


The recommended maximum dosage is 1-25%

Examples of Applications and Their Usage Rates:

  • Balms (15-20%)
  • Creams (5-10%)
  • Conditioners (1-3%)
  • Deodorants (1-15%)
  • Eyeshadows (3-10%)
  • Hair Creams (2-5%)
  • Mascaras (2-25%)
  • Soaps (1-3%)



As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Carnauba Wax is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this product for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women as well as those with sensitive skin are especially advised not to use Carnauba Wax without the medical advice of a physician. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Carnauba Wax, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by melting 1 tsp of Carnauba Wax in 1 tsp of a preferred carrier oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Carnauba Wax must never be used near the inner nose and ears or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Carnauba Wax include dry skin, acne, rashes, inflammation, dermatitis, dizziness, nausea, blurry vision, and dryness, irritation, or burning of the eyes. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IMPORTANT: All New Directions Aromatics (NDA) products are for external use only unless otherwise indicated. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or under the care of a medical practitioner. Please refer to our policies for further details, and our disclaimer below.

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