Veterinarian Reviewed on June 20, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Emulsifying wax is considered to be one of the main ingredients in making personal care products such as lotions and creams. This is extracted from fatty acids and ester isolation from plant oils. At room temperature, emulsifying wax is solid and may be marketed as small pellets or in small tablets. It is basically odorless but it does have a slight wax smell.
There are many types of emulsifying waxes and each may have a particular use in many types of industries. Each may have its own applications as well as beneficial properties.
History and Origin
Emulsifying wax is considered to be as a cosmetic emulsifying agent. The word is often followed by the initials NF. This means that the wax conforms to the specification of a governing body that is called the National Formulary.
Emulsifying waxes are created when a vegetable wax is processed with a detergent like sodium dodecyl sulfate. This procedure causes oil and water to bind and form into an emulsion and thus an emulsifying wax is created.
The uses of emulsifying wax were unheard of during ancient times. Skin care products which were equivalent to lotions and creams were made from the extracts of fruits and herbs which were then used to treat minor skin conditions such as dry skin, irritations, scratches, boils, etc.
Emulsifying wax is used in more modern times as a medium for making skin care products. It can blend oil and water in facial creams, body lotions, moisturizers and other skin care products.
The ability of emulsifying wax to blend oil and water into a fine consistency is highly valued in the cosmetic industry as well. It is a common ingredient in many makeup products such as concealers, liquid foundation, toners, mascaras and liquid lipsticks. In the hair industry, emulsifying waxes are also found in pomades, hair creams, hair colorants and many other hair care products.
There are different types of emulsifying waxes available for both industrial and home use. It is important therefore to know the different wax types to use for creating your own kind of cream or lotion. If you will not add any emulsifying agent to a mixture of oil and water, it will turn back to its separated form after quite some time.
There are no side effects in the use of products with emulsifying waxes as a main ingredient. These products are considered non toxic even when used regularly. This chemical is also considered non irritating even for people with sensitive skin.
There may still be a small number of people who may find products with emulsifying waxes to be rather irritating to their skin and mucous membranes so it is best to consult with a dermatologist regarding a better skin care product to use. If you experience any type of skin irritation when using these products, you must completely discontinue product use and consult a doctor at once.
If you are have sensitive skin, it is best to find a product that can work with your skin type. Consider reading product labels of skin care products carefully before you actually begin to use them.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan