Stearic acid is a long-chain fatty acid, a wax-like solid that is either white or colorless. You might think that its origin is animal. Plant-based stearic acid is available on the market as well. You can find it in shea butter or cocoa butter, and palm oil is also a popular plant source. It is an ideal ingredient for cosmetic products, which is the main reason why stearic acid gained so much popularity in the last few years. If you want to find out more about stearic acid uses, here is a list.
1. Soaps, shaving creams, and detergents. Numerous producers add stearic acid to their soap and candle formulas to harden and thicken the product. If you add stearic acid to soap, it creates a lather when mixed with water. It provides a velvety feeling.
2. Lotions, moisturizers, and face creams. As mentioned above, one of the main reasons why stearic acid has gained so much popularity lately is because it is widely spread in the cosmetic industry. When you use stearic acid in lotions and creams, it adds thickness to the product and gives it a rich, lustrous finish. It also provides a smooth and velvety feeling when you apply the product to the skin.
3. Candles. Stearic acid resembles wax, and you already know that when you add it to products, it hardens and solidifies them. It is the reason why it is an ideal ingredient for paraffin candles. It makes the candle last longer, and when you add color to a home-made mold, it makes the color brighter and more vivid.
4. Rubber. Stearic acid is mostly used in the processing of rubber, as a dispersing agent, plasticizer, and lubricant.
5. Paints and coatings. It is directly used in paintings, especially to make the color more vivid, and it is indirectly used in different formulations of coating, such as additives.
6. Playing cards. It might seem strange that stearic acid is used for producing playing cards, but it is one of the most common ingredients used in this industry. The role of stearic acid is to lubricate the playing cards, which helps smooth the shuffling and the fanning.
7. Fireworks. Another use for stearic acid is for fireworks. It is used for coating aluminum, iron, and other metal powders, and it extends the shelf life of these compositions.
8. Casts and molds. The role of stearic acid in casts and molds is to ensure the easy and quick release of the cast.
These are just some of the many ways in which stearic acid is used. As you can see, it has different applications in numerous industries. However, we consider that one of its most important applications is in the cosmetic industry. Check out the label of the cosmetic products that you are about to buy and see if they contain stearic acid. If they do, then you can be sure that you are about to purchase a product that will improve skin cleansing, and add power to the skin’s protective barrier.