Stearic acid is the fatty acids from vegetable source is an excellent thickener and emulsion stabilizer for lotions and creams, salves, and body butters. Small amounts (1–4%) in lotions will significantly thicken them. Stearic acid improves the silkiness and glide of emulsions. With stearic acid you can use less wax, which improves skin feel. The more stearic acid, the stiffer and harder the butter. Stearic acid also produces creamier/richer products
– It is a strong thickener without the weight and tack of waxes; I find it gives a rich buttery feel to products.
HIGH PERFORMANCE INGREDIENT
– Typical Ingredient
– Skin Replenishing
Functional – Thickener/Gum, Functional – Emulsifier
Add to the oil phase
Typical use level 2.0 to 3.0%, up to 25%.
Lower amounts are typically for emulsions, higher amounts are typically for anhydrous products.
Levels above 3.0 will result in soaping (a whitening and lack of absorption when rubbed on the skin)
Off white flake or bead
Cream/Lotion, Scrub, Balm/Butter
Stearic acid is a stronger thickener/hardener than both cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol, so if either of those are used as an alternative the end product will be softer.