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What Are The Benefits Of Stearic Acid?

What Are The Benefits Of Stearic Acid?

Stearic acid is a very common amino acid is used in the manufacturing of more than 3,200 skin and hair care products sold in the United States. On product labels, it is sometimes listed under other names, including Century 1240, cetylacetic acid, Emersol 120, Emersol 132, Emersol 150, Formula 300 and Glycon DP.

Where is stearic acid found?

In nature, stearic acid is found in the fats and oils of plants and animals. Animal fat samples typically consist of 30% stearic acid. Most plant oils receive 5% of their volume from the amino acid, with the exception of cocoa butter and shea butter, which contain as much as nine times more stearic acid.

How is stearic acid produced?

To isolate the substance, fat or oil that contains the amino acid is heated and pressurized. Then, the material is placed in boiling water inside a distillation machine. This device catches the steam given off by boiling the fat or oil samples and then carries it through a series of chilled coils. The sudden drop in temperature causes the stearic acid to condense and become a liquid. It can then be further cooled to produce a waxy solid substance.

What is stearic acid used in?

One of the largest uses of stearic acid is in the production of soaps. When added to these products, the amino acid helps to thicken and harden the other ingredients to form a solid bar. Stearic acid also has important cleansing properties that make it useful in soaps. The ingredient acts as a surfactant, a substance that lowers the surface tension of oils. Oils have a higher surface tension than ordinary water, which is why water droplets do not readily mix with oils. By lowering the surface tension of oil, stearic acid allows water to combine with the oil molecules and wash them away. As a result, stearic acid helps to remove dirt, sweat and excess sebum from the skin and hair. This makes it a useful ingredient in cleansers, body washes and shampoos as well as bar soaps.

Why is stearic acid in so many products?

Because stearic acid helps water and oil mix, the ingredient is also added to many liquid cosmetics and skin and hair care products in low concentrations to function as an additive rather than an active ingredient or cleansing agent. In these products, stearic acid helps prevent the formulas from separating into liquid and oily layers. As a result, products that contain stearic acid require less shaking prior to use and remain more potent when stored for extended periods of time.

Is it stearic acid natural?

Because stearic acid is derived from natural sources and not produced in industrial settings, it is sometimes used as an alternative to chemical ingredients in natural skin care. Often the ingredient is sourced from by-products obtained during the processing of meats, particularly pork. For this reason, it is not frequently used in vegan cosmetics and skin care however; stearic acid sourced from plants is suitable in formulas that are animal-free.

Can I use stearic acid?

The US Food and Drug Administration has concluded that stearic acid is safe for topical use in skin care products in limited quantities, indicating that some people with sensitive skin may be unable to tolerate the ingredient.

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Natasha Swindell

Natasha Swindell

Skincare Therapist

Mother of two and a lover of natural products. I have been in the professional skincare and beauty industry for over 10 years, although before this I used to be the child who bought new cleansers with my pocket money. Beauty was an early obsession, which I have grown to love even more after learning the importance of looking after your skin.