Stearic Acid



INCI name: Stearic Acid

Derived From: Vegetable fats and oils

Ingredient Type: Fatty Acid

Ingredient Function: Thickening and hardening agent, Emollient, Occlusive

Appearance:  White, waxy, crystalline powder granules/ small beads. May also come in flakes

Form/ Texture: Waxy substance

Smell: Between a faint odour to an oil-like or fat-like smell

Solubility:  Oil

Melting Point: 69.3°C (156.7°F)

Usage rate: 0.5-5%, up to 10-25%  [Lotions and Creams: 2-5%  |  Cleansers: 0.5%   |  Emulsified Body Butter: 3-5%   |  Conditioners and Emulsified Body Scrubs: 3-5%   |   Bar Soaps : 0.5% of total oil weight, up to 5%  |   Candles: 3-5%, up to 12%  | Cleansing Balms, Lotion Bars: 5-25%]

Storage: Store in tight container, in a cool, dry place, away from moisture and direct sunlight.

Shelf Life: 24 months

PH It’s Stable in: PH 5.5-6

Formulation Notes:

  • Add during the heated oil phase of a formulation. Stearic Acid requires heating to melt
  • Compatible with many other ingredients
  • Stearic acid is not acidic and will not lower the pH of your formulations like citric acid or lactic acid.
  • Thickens a formulation but does not make the end product tacky, as waxes-type thickeners do
  • Stearic Acid adds stiffness/ hardness to a product, to give it a butter-like creamy consistency and buttery feel in the hand


Common Ways Stearic Acid Is Used In Formulation of Bath and Body Care Products

Stearic acid is a waxy solid that is used in candle making, soap making and also in formulation of skincare and hair care products. Here are some uses of Stearic Acid in different types of formulations:

  • Thickener for Emulsions:  Stearic Acid is used to thicken and stabilize emulsion-type formulations including lotions and creams
  • Adds Hardness and Stiffness to a Formulation: Stearic Acid can harden a formulation, and is able to turn liquids into solid form. For example, adding Stearic Acid to oils and blending can turn Liquid Oils into Butter or Waxy Consistency. Stearic Acid can be added and blended into liquid oils to achieve a creamy butter-like consistency. Adding even a larger amount of Stearic Acid to liquid oils can achieve a wax-like consistency. *Plant butters such as Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter naturally contain a large amount (20-50%) Stearic Acid – it’s the component that makes them ‘hard oils’.
  • Soap Hardener: Stearic Acid is used as a hardening agent for bar soaps. It makes bar soaps firmer and extra hard
  • Added for Emollient Properties: Stearic Acid is added to soaps, lotions and other types of formulations to provide emollient and skin-softening properties
  • Hardener for Candles:  Stearic Acid is also used by candle makers to make candles firmer, increase burn-time, and also add a smooth, opaque-white appealing look.
  • Emulsion Stabilizer: Stearic Acid helps to ensure to keep emulsions stable, preventing separation into isolated layers of water and oil. This helps improve the effectiveness and shelf life of the product.


Properties and Benefits of Stearic Acid in Skincare and Beauty

  • Moisturizing Property: Due to its emollient property, Stearic Acid helps moisturize the skin, to keep it softer and smoother.
  • Protects the skin barrier: While moisturizing the skin, Stearic Acid also works with the oils in the skin to prevent water loss, thereby protecting and strengthening the skin barrier
  • Occlusive Property: Stearic Acid acts as an occlusive agent, protecting the skin surface from Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL).
  • Helps balances the skin’s PH level
  • Adds a glossy finish to a formulation, due to Stearic Acid’s waxy appearance
  • Hair Conditioning Properties: Stearic Acid helps to condition the hair and make it look shiny and feel softer and lighter


Common Types of Skincare Products that Contain Stearic Acid

  • Balms and salves
  • Body butters
  • Lotion bars
  • Moisturizers (lotions, creams)
  • Shaving Soaps
  • Body washes
  • Face Masks
  • Cleansers and toners


*NOTE: This product is for external use only; Use for cosmetic formulations only

Additional information

Weight N/A

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