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Waxes Used in the Cosmetics Industry – Part 1

SpecialChem / Nick Morante – Mar 22, 2007

Waxes were first used in cosmetics more than 5000 years ago. True wax research was established as a scientific discipline in 1823. Today waxes can be found in almost every type of cosmetic product. A wax is an unctuous solid that readily melts within a specified temperature range. The characteristics of waxes vary greatly. Typically waxes do not consist of a single chemical compound, but are often very complex mixtures with various melt point fractions. They can be soft and pliable, hard and brittle, plastic-like, and they can be glossy or dull. This article will be divided into two parts for convenience because there is quite a lot of information to present. Waxes can be classified into three main categories depending on their source: natural waxes, synthetic waxes and modified waxes. In Part 1, we will cover Natural Waxes. In Part 2, we will continue with the Mineral group of the Natural Waxes, and then on to Synthetic Waxes and Modified Waxes. These are waxes that everyone is using today to make all-natural claims for their products.

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