ALL ABOUT STEARIC ACID
WHAT IS STEARIC ACID?
Stearic Acid is a waxy, colorless or white solid that exudes a mild odor. It is soluble in oil but only slightly dissolves in water, thus it floats. Stearic Acid is a long-chain fatty acid that, due to its 18-carbon chain, is also referred to as Octadecanoic Acid. This valuable saturated fatty acid is the main constituent of both Cocoa and Shea butter. The name “stear” is a Greek word meaning “tallow,” as it was often derived from the natural animal by-products and fats that were obtained during the processing of meats; however, Stearic Acid may also be obtained from the fatty parts of plant sources, which makes it ideal for use in natural formulations. NDA’s Stearic Acid is obtained from Palm Oil, its natural source making it a safer substitute for chemicals that may be found in cosmetic products.
HOW DOES STEARIC ACID WORK?
Stearic Acid may be used to form the base of other ingredients that are intended to be incorporated into formulations as lubricants, emollients, and emulsifiers. In emulsions, Stearic Acid is an effective stabilizer, thickener, and softener that contributes a cooling sensation on the skin. It is also known to contribute a pearly finish to lubricants.
BENEFITS OF STEARIC ACID
Stearic Acid helps to harden products, such as candles and soap bars, helping the latter to create a rich lather that feels velvety. This property makes it ideal for use in shaving foams. With occlusive properties, it helps the skin remain hydrated by preventing or slowing moisture loss from the skin’s surface.
APPLICATIONS FOR STEARIC ACIDBar Soaps, Facial Cleansers, Body Washes, Shampoos, Laundry Detergents
When added to soap formulations, Stearic Acid derivatives function as thickeners that help to harden the formulas into solids and that help to eliminate the thin and runny feeling of watered-down soaps. Their surfactant action helps reduce the surface tension of oils, which makes it easier for oil and water molecules to mix well. In this way, Stearic Acid works to ensure that emulsions do not separate into isolated layers of water and oil. This helps enhance a product’s effectiveness as well as its shelf life. This also means that final products with Stearic Acid do not need to be shaken as vigorously before they are used. On the skin and in the hair, Stearic Acid works to eliminate excess oil, sweat, and grime. This cleansing property makes it beneficial for addition to formulations for soap bars, face and body washes, shampoos, and even laundry detergents. Stearic Acid leaves the final product enhanced with conditioning qualities and its preservative property allows them to last longer. When added to shampoo formulations, Stearic Acid functions as a protective conditioner that helps to leave the hair feeling soft, light, and lustrous. Recommended Usage for Cleansers: .5%
Lotions and Face Creams
When added to lotion formulations, Stearic Acid functions as a thickening agent that contributes a richness to the texture of the final product. Recommended Usage for Lotions and Creams: 2-5%.
When added to recipes for paraffin candles, Stearic Acid functions as a hardener. The harder the wax, the longer it will take the flame to melt it, thus resulting in a longer-lasting candle. Because Stearic Acid causes wax to shrink as it cools down, it also enables the easy release of the final product from a mold. Furthermore, its opacifying properties help to boost the colors of added dyes. Being a fragrance ingredient, Stearic Acid’s fat cells attach to the scent of an added aroma and prevents it from seeping out of the candle, which allows the fragrance to last longer. Recommended Usage for Candles: 3-5%
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR STEARIC ACID
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Stearic Acid Raw Material is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as those with sensitive skin, are especially advised not to use Stearic Acid Raw Material 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 Stearic Acid Raw Material, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by melting 1 tsp of Stearic Acid in 1 ml of a preferred Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Stearic Acid must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Stearic Acid include irritation, such as itching, stinging, burning, redness, rashes, inflammation, hives, blisters, sun sensitivity, and scaly skin. 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.
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