Know more About the Waxes Used for Skin Care Products
The cosmetic formulations for personal and skincare may use many different kinds of materials. These may include natural waxes, fats, and oils, which can be used as ingredients in certain products for their natural and beneficial properties. However, the use of wax is not limited to cosmetics and personal care products. These are also used in industries including construction boards, corrosion protection, leather and textile, crayons, and pencils, and many others.
Waxes, including lanolin and beeswax, may be obtained from different natural sources. For instance, lanolin can be extracted by the scouring of wool in hot water. Certain synthetic waxes, animal fats, and oils are obtained from petrochemicals as well. When the crude petroleum oil is heated to a very high temperature, many compounds get removed due to boiling and high heat, and form waxes. For instance, petrolatum may exist in the form of the semi-solid paraffin wax, and Vaseline is a popular product containing the synthetic wax. Waxes can be used in personal care products in the way of solubilizers, agents providing for consistency, or can be included due to their dispersing and emollient properties.
The Chemical Classification of Waxes
Waxes available today may include alcohols, triglycerides, esters, hydrocarbons, and fatty acids. Some of these items can be further classified into polymeric substances that may function as film formulating agents. Another way to sort waxes is by following their source of origin. Based on it, waxes can be derived from plants or petroleum. The natural waxes include esters and saturated triglycerides, having alkyl carbon chains of length varying between 12 to 30. Natural waxes are often derived from vegetable oils through hydrogenation or fractionalization. It converts them to form saturated alkyl chains. Some of the famous natural waxes include:
- Stearic acid
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils
Many of the waxes in use today are based on petroleum, and some examples of waxes here may include:
Microcrystalline Waxes And Their Use In Personal Care Products
Microcrystalline waxes have been quite popular lately, and these waxes are obtained from crude petroleum and petrolatum. When compared to natural waxes, petroleum-based microcrystalline waxes will have a higher percentage of the branched hydrocarbons and the naphthenic hydrocarbons. These waxes possess properties, like higher viscosity, darkness, elasticity, and thickness when compared to the paraffin waxes. Microcrystalline waxes will also have a comparatively higher melting point and molecular weight.
The microcrystalline waxes are used as emollients, binders, and viscosity agents for producing personal care products, cosmetics, and the beauty product ranges. For instance, the micro crystalline waxes may be used as a water-repelling agent in the waterproof mascaras, as emollient and viscosity agents in the lotions and creams, as formulating agents in the eyeliner pencils, as structuring substances in the lipsticks, etc.
A diverse and useful class of organic compounds, waxes can also improve the SPF ratings of skincare products and modify skin feel. Waxes are hydrophobic and enhance the wear properties of a range of cosmetic formulations when used as thickening agents. However, there are also certain waxes with a low melting point. These waxes do not contribute much to the structure of the product and act as they feel modifiers. Some of the examples here may include cocoa butter, shea butter, petrolatum, and lanolin.
Devoid Of Safety Issues
One of the most critical aspects of manufacturing personal and skincare products is that they should be safe to be used by humans. Compared to other kinds of products, more laws and standards are applied to the manufacturing of cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. However, microcrystalline waxes and different types of waxes prove to be a safe ingredient for personal care products and do not adversely affect human health. The use of microcrystalline waxes has been approved by all the relevant Federal and state agencies and bodies responsible for setting the standards and governing the production of these products. Till now, none of the research studies conducted in the area has found any adverse or side effects of using microcrystalline waxes for human health when used as an ingredient for personal care products.
There can be certain limitations to the use of waxes in personal and skincare products. The natural waxes may have limited shelflife and may oxidize or go rancid. These kinds of properties harm the quality of the cosmetic products that use these waxes as ingredients. Sometimes stability turns to be an issue when the product is in the emulsification state. Hence it is also essential for the manufacturers and companies specializing in producing personal and skincare products to procure quality waxes from leading and well-known suppliers.
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