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Stearic Acid

Stearic acid is a very common amino acid composed of 18 carbon molecules linked together in a chain. Because of its structure, stearic acid is sometimes referred to as octadecanoic acid. The substance 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.

In nature, stearic acid is found in the fats and oils of plants and animals. Animal fat samples typically consist of 30 percent stearic acid. Most plant oils receive 5 percent 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.

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Because stearic acid is found in so many plants and animals, it is relatively inexpensive to produce. 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 of a distillation apparatus. 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.

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.

One of the largest uses of stearic acid is in the production of soaps.

The surface tension is the force that allows oils and liquids to retain their shape in the presence of natural forces like gravity. 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.

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.

Stearic acid helps to remove dirt, sweat and excess sebum from the skin and hair.

Less commonly, stearic acid is added to products to make them less transparent. When utilized for this purpose, stearic acid can improve the appearance of a lotion, gel or cream to make it more appealing to users. In cosmetics like foundations and concealers, stearic acid's ability to increase the opacity of formulas helps them better hide skin imperfections.

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 products. It is important to note, though, that 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 products; however, stearic acid sourced from plants is suitable for inclusion in formulas that are animal-free.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded that stearic acid is safe for topical use in skin care products in limited quantities. The ingredient is also approved for use as a food additive to give products a chewier or gummier texture. The leading skin care product safety evaluation group, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel, has found that the amount of stearic acid commonly used in cosmetics and skin and hair care products does not pose any health risks. Although stearic acid is not toxic, in some clinical studies it has produced skin irritation in rabbits, indicating that some people with sensitive skin may be unable to tolerate the ingredient.

  

Stearic Acid Products

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A hydrating mask that provides intensive soothing care to dehydrated, overstressed skin.
$26.00
1.7oz | AE010
In Stock
 
An in-home oxygen peel for congested skin. Helps keep skin radiantly clear.
$58.00
PY025
In Stock
 
A thick, rich, emollient product that reduces the signs and symptoms of eczema or dermatitis.
$12.00
2oz | FC010
In Stock
 
This cream provides immediate relief for irritated or itchy skin conditions such as eczema.
$28.00
6oz | FC003
In Stock
A mature skin remedy to dramatically diminish dark circles and puffiness.
$91.00
0.5oz | SK063
In Stock
 
Protects the skin from irritation and razor burn.
$25.00
5oz | AV012
In Stock
 
Moisture replenisher with vitamin-E and marine extracts.
$60.00
2oz | SK015
In Stock
 
Helps promote recovery to rejuvenate and soothe skin.
$150.00
1.69oz | NO001
In Stock
Smooth and tone rough or damaged skin.
$72.00
2 oz | OB008
In Stock
 
Protects the skin from irritation and razor burn.
$25.00
5oz | AV011
In Stock
 
Protects the skin from irritation and razor burn.
$25.00
5oz | AV009
In Stock
 
Protects the skin from irritation and razor burn.
$25.00
5oz | AV010
In Stock
A gentle anti-aging moisturizer that is a good alternative to Retinol.
$119.00
2.8oz | KE088
In Stock
 
This kit won't just give your skin a peel, it will give you a complete skin makeover.
$70.00
PY024
In Stock
 
Non-medicated feminine care product soothes irritated skin.
$69.00
1oz | NY001
In Stock
 
Treatment cream with Green Tea, Resveratrol and Caffeine.
$70.00
1oz | TP061
In Stock
This ultra-soft mud mask deeply cleans, removes impurities and minimizes the appearance of pores.
$42.00
0.3oz x 8 | WE002
In Stock
 
This product is formulated to provide long-lasting hydration for all-day moisture protection.
$48.00
1.7oz | OB071
In Stock
 
Formulated to counter moisture loss, collagen breakdown, and free radical damage.
$81.00
14gr | SK035
In Stock
 
Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and restore a youthful glow to skin.
$74.00
2 oz + 60 Pads | PY829
In Stock
A instant complexion booster that leaves you with bright, new skin.
$105.00
1oz | RQ003
In Stock
 
Cleanses without drying using the power of minerals.
$10.00
3.4oz | AH050
In Stock
 
A creamy topical anesthetic that moisturizes while providing relief.
$37.00
8oz | FE009
In Stock
 
This lash primer will make your mascara twice as effective.
$17.50
JI182
In Stock
Cleanses, unclogs and tightens the pores of oily and thickened skin.
$23.00
4.2oz | LP032
In Stock
 
This cream helps to smooth and soften dry, rough and callused areas.
$50.00
1.7oz | GT045
In Stock
 
This hydrating shave cream helps protect the skin from irritation by improving razor glide.
$25.00
5oz | AV061
In Stock
 
Hydrate, heal, soothe and smooth severely dry skin.
$25.00
2.75oz | YB003
In Stock
Protects the skin from irritation and razor burn.
$14.00
2.5 oz | AV016
In Stock
 
Amerigel Premium Care Lotion restores lost moisture to fragile skin, promotes natural healing, protects and soothes rough, dry, irritated skin.
$23.50
8oz | AM002
In Stock
 
A mascara approved for sensitive eyes that thickens and conditions lashes.
$16.00
0.35oz | JI177
In Stock
 
Formulated without sulfates, dyes or fragrances.
$36.00
4oz | NO006
In Stock
Protects the skin from irritation and razor burn
$16.00
2.5 oz | AV013
In Stock
 
Brush on cheeks, nose, chin and forehead for the ultimate, sun-kissed look.
$42.00
0.35oz | JI045
In Stock
 
Helps nails grow healthier and stronger while resisting splits, peels and breaks.
$17.00
1oz | BA001
In Stock
 
Protects the skin from irritation and razor burn
$16.00
2.5 oz | AV015
In Stock
Even complexion, smooth skin's texture, and boost radiance.
$24.99
4.2oz | LP105
In Stock
 
A creamy, no-rinse milk cleanser formulated to gently remove makeup and cleanse skin.
$20.00
6.76oz | AE005
In Stock
 
Helps hydrate, heal, soothe and smooth severely dry skin.
$16.00
1.25oz | YB001
In Stock
 
A rich moisturizing cream that can be used day or night.
$27.60
3.5oz | DV020
In Stock
Helps nails grow healthier and stronger while resisting splits, peels and breaks.
$10.00
0.5oz | BA034
In Stock
 
This cream helps repair skin after treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion or lasers.
$42.00
2oz | GT051
In Stock
 
Brush on cheeks, nose, chin and forehead for the ultimate, sun-kissed look.
$42.00
0.35oz | JI425
In Stock
 
Protects the skin from irritation and razor burn.
$16.00
2.5 oz | AV014
In Stock
A mascara approved for sensitive eyes that thickens and conditions lashes.
$16.00
0.35oz | JI176
In Stock
 
A vibrant cream eye shadow in a taupe shimmer.
$18.00
0.27oz | ON166
In Stock
 
A bronzer quad of golden-pink shades designed to be used on eyes, cheeks or as an all-over highlighter.
$48.00
0.37oz | JI387
In Stock
 
Brush on cheeks, nose, chin and forehead for the ultimate, sun-kissed look.
$42.00
0.35oz | JI044
In Stock
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