Stearic acid

INCI: Stearic acid

What is Stearic acid?

An anionic oil-in-water emulsifier. It is naturally found in animal fats or vegetable fats. It emits an oil-like odor and is not soluble in water. 

Use & Benefits

The main use is as an emulsifier in formulations to increase the viscosity of products such as hair conditioners and lotions. Depending on the concentration used a heavy thick or lightweight formulation can be achieved.

It is used as an emollient in creams, lotions, lubricants, soaps, and conditioners. It creates a skin barrier that helps repair the impaired lipid structure in the skin because of its natural fatty acid content. By repairing the lipid barrier, the skin can retain moisture better and reduce water loss to the environment which dries the skin out.  Dry skin will lead to dry patches, irritated skin, skin peeling. The emollient properties will soothe the skin and soften it.

When used in hair conditioners it can help moisturize the hair without leaving the hair greasy or weighed down. It can be used in soap bars for the maintenance of the shape and structure while leaving the skin soft and not dry. This can help counterbalance the surfactants used in the soap product that may be great for removing impurities, but it also strips to the skin surface.

It can be used in makeup products without it being greasy or harsh on delicate areas of the face.

When applied to the face, it gives it a soft cooling effect. It allows the product to glide better while providing a silky feeling, great for luxurious creams. When neutralized into Stearic Stearate (in-situ soap) it can be used as a cleaning agent.

Used to emulsify fragrances together and create a stronger smell for example in candles steric acid is used for structural support and stability but it also allows for a stronger longer-lasting scent.