Stearic acid cream is a natural emollient that helps to soften and protect the skin. It is a popular ingredient used in many skincare products because it is both hydrating and gentle on the skin.
Frequently used in soaps and cleansers, stearic acid works as an emulsifier to suspend oil and fats and make them easier to remove from the skin. It also binds to other ingredients to prevent them from falling apart or becoming hard.
In skincare, stearic acid is usually sourced from shea butter and coconut oil. It’s a good emollient and lubricant to use in lotions or facial moisturizers because it thickens the product and makes it feel more luxurious.
It is an excellent thickening agent for salves and balms as well as anhydrous rinse-off products like cleansing balms or emulsified sugar scrubs. It also stiffens a blend of liquid oils to feel buttery without adding any wax, which is great for making the formulations softer on the skin.
Unlike true waxes, which tend to leave a tacky film behind when they evaporate, stearic acid does not do this. It also thickens without increasing the melting point of anhydrous formulations, which is great for those living in hot climates. If you’re interested in using stearic acid, but are not sure if it will work in your formulas, I highly recommend performing a patch test. This will allow you to see if your skin reacts negatively to the product.