EC / List no.: 232-347-0
CAS no.: 8006-44-8
Candelilla wax is a wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, Euphorbia cerifera and Euphorbia antisyphilitica, from the family Euphorbiaceae.
Candelilla wax is yellowish-brown, hard, brittle, aromatic, and opaque to translucent.
Composition and production
With a melting point of 68.5–72.5 °C, candelilla wax consists of mainly hydrocarbons (about 50%, chains with 29–33 carbons), esters of higher molecular weight (20–29%), free acids (7–9%), and resins (12–14%, mainly triterpenoid esters).
The high hydrocarbon content distinguishes this wax from carnauba wax.
Candelilla wax is insoluble in water, but soluble in many organic solvents such as acetone, chloroform, benzene, and turpentine.
The wax is obtained by boiling the leaves and stems with dilute sulfuric acid, and the resulting "cerote" is skimmed from the surface and further processed.
In this way, about 900 tons are produced annually.
Candelilla wax is mostly used mixed with other waxes to harden them without raising their melting point.
As a food additive, candelilla wax has the E number E 902 and is used as a glazing agent.
Candelilla wax also finds use in cosmetic industry, as a component of lip balms and lotion bars.
One of its major uses is as a binder for chewing gums.
Candelilla wax can be used as a substitute for carnauba wax and beeswax.
Candelilla wax is also used for making varnish.
Candelilla wax is obtained from several species of Euphorbiaceae, rush-like perennial plants that grow in the semiarid regions of northern Mexico and southern Texas, and to a limited extent in Arizona and southern California.
The plants consist of numerous slender, leafless cylindrical stalks 2 to 5 ft high, covered with a powdery wax that gives the plant a blue-green color.
The wax is extracted from the plants by immersing the dried stalks in boiling water acidified with sulfuric acid; the molten product is skimmed off as it rises to the surface.
The wax is transferred to lead-lined tanks, kept at the boiling point to remove water, and then allowed to settle to remove any dirt present.
The yield of clarified wax is from 1.5 to 3.0% of the air-dried plant.
The sole criterion of purity is usually the color of the product, which varies from light yellow to brown.
For other details of description, refer to Burdock (1997).
manufacture of cosmetics, rubber substitutes, furniture and leather polishes, candles, sealing wax, phonograph records; for waterproofing boxes and fabrics; electric insulations; lithographic, printing, stamping and writing inks; molding compositions; sizing paper; hardening other waxes; protective coating for citrus fruits; formerly in chewing gum.
candelilla wax (Euphorbia cerifera) binds oils and waxes, and gives body to a formulation.
Candelilla wax is also used as a film former.
Candelilla wax is obtained from candelilla plants and is similar to carnauba wax.
Candelilla Wax is a lubricant and surface finishing agent obtained from the candelilla plant.
Candelilla wax is a hard, yellowish-brown, opaque-to- translucent wax.
candelilla wax is prepared by immersing the plants in boiling water containing sulfuric acid and skimming off the wax that rises to the surface.
Candelilla wax is composed of about 50% hydrocarbons with smaller amounts of esters and free acids.
Candelilla wax is used in chewing gum and hard candy.
Yellowish-brown, opaque to translucent solid.
Soluble in chloroform, turpentine, carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene, toluene, hot petroleum ether, and alkalies; insoluble in water.
Candelilla wax is a plant based wax and a suitable vegan alternative to beeswax.
Although it makes an excellent DIY skincare ingredient in its own right.
Like beeswax, this unique wax has quite a high melting point, and acts as a stabiliser and emulsifier in balms, creams, salves and lotions.
It is skin conditioning, easily absorbed, odourless, and rich in nutrients.
It also provides a wonderful gloss and lubricity to lip balms.
It is recommended that you use half the amount of candelilla wax as beeswax since it has twice the stiffening powers.
So if a recipe calls for 1 cup of beeswax, use 1/2 cup of candelilla wax instead.
Our candelilla wax (beads) is derived from the leaves of the small candelilla shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.
It is 100% natural and refined (filtered twice), and packaged in a reusable glass jar with steel screw top lid.
Candelilla wax is rich in nutrients and helps to bind other ingredients together, whilst also creating a workable texture that is easily absorbed into the skin.
Uses: In the cosmetic industry, Candelilla Wax is used as thickener for creams or solidifying agent for waxes.
It is used to manufacture lip balms, lip sticks, lotions bars, soaps, stick foundations and candles.
Candelilla Wax is derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub.
These leaves produce a scale-like covering on the plant, which acts as a natural self-defense mechanism against extreme heat and arid desert conditions.
The wax is obtained by boiling the leaves and stems in an acidic solution, then skimming the surface and for further processing.
What is Candelilla Wax?
Candelilla wax is a natural vegetable wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla plant grown in the semi-arid regions of northern Mexico and the southwestern part of the United States.
Known as a family to a species of flowering plants, it is sometimes called Euphorbia antisyphilitica.
Sometimes labeled as Euphorbia Cerifera wax or Euphorbia Cerifera, this wax is detectable by its yellowish-brown color, brittle shell, aromatic nature and opaque, translucent appearance.
Its name translates to “little candle,” an ode to its first use as wax for making candles.
Plant waxes like Candelilla are often included in the development of beauty and personal care products – think haircare, lip care, sun care, lotion bars, skincare, candles, and food products – because they help keep emulsions intact. Acting as a binder to prevent oils and liquids from separating in your favorite creamy products, Candelilla enriches creamy products like cream foundations, rich lip balms, conditioners for curly hair and smoothing wax pomades.
The melting point of Candelilla wax ranges between 156 -163°F, while the saponification value, which measures the average molecular weight of all the fatty acids present in a fat, wax, or resin, typically ranges between 43 and 65.
Candelilla Wax Benefits
Candelilla has many benefits, including serving as a thickening and hardening agent, a synthetics-free emollient and nourishing skin conditioner. Not only effective in binding ingredients, but the unique quality of Candelilla wax also makes it safe for skin. also been found to soothe and soften the skin.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and The Candelilla Institute, “In the cosmetics industry, due to its protective properties, Candelilla wax is indispensable in an important range of formulas used in the production of lipsticks, body lotions, and hair preparations.”
Candelilla wax also has been found to improve the appearance of stretch marks, diminish the signs of aging (i.e.wrinkles and age spot) and relieve dehydrated skin.
Studies also indicate that Candelilla can serve as an alternative to developing trans-free products for the food industry.
Considered a treasure for our hair derived “from our own backyard,” the natural complexity of Candelilla Wax makes it a viscosity enhancer, natural skin protector, soothing astringent and odorless skin conditioning agent that can be easily absorbed by the skin.
Like Jojoba oil, Candelilla wax is rich in nutrients and can dramatically repair the loss of moisture to the hair and scalp.
It is reported that “Candelilla wax adds lubricity and gloss to hair.
[The] Creamy consistency of Candelilla vegetable wax makes it an ideal ingredient for smooth applications in depilatories and in several hair care products including hair conditioners and scalp treatments.”
Versatile and effective, Candelilla Wax provides various uses across the personal care, food, and beauty industries. Used in balms and lotions, it binds ingredients like water and oil to offer suburb hydration and the ability to spread along the body’s surface.
Market research supports that, “Candelilla Wax functions as a barrier agent which avoids the loss of moisture, due to which it’s usually used in the cosmetics and personal care industry, in the products such as lip balms, lotions, moisturizers, etc.
[Sic] Inclination towards vegan products gives candelilla wax an advantage over the animal-based waxes.”
What is Candelilla Wax?
Candelilla wax has been produced since the start of the 20th Centuary and mainly takes place in Mexico and South Western USA.
The plants are placed in a mix of water and sulphuric acid to extract the wax. Heat is applied and the wax comes to the surface where is collected and known as the "paila"
Using seperation tanks, the wax is then cleaned from the top "the cerote" and left to cool and solidify at room temperature.
This raw wax is then melted and filtered through Fullers earth and activated Charcoal to refine any impurities.
The wax is characterised by high levels of hydrocarbons and contains many of the components found in other plant oils.
Skin benefits of Candelilla Wax
Candelilla Wax has been used for over 100 years in skincare products. Many of the skin benefits are built around the way it created a Barrier agent to prevent moisture loss from the skin.
When used in skincare products, Candelilla Wax spreads easier and is absorbed by the skin easier than Beeswax.
Candelilla Wax can be found in products created to minimise stretch marks, hydrating the skin and clearing parched, scaly skin.
Candelilla Wax offers a wonderful natural binder for cosmetic ingredients.
Hair benefits of Candelilla Wax
The smooth application and quick easy absorbtion makes Candelilla Wax perfect for use in hair products.
Dry Scalp related hair products especially benefit as the Candelilla Wax is easily absorbed by the scalp. Very quick there can be a marked difference in the quality of hair and scalp when using Candelilla wax as part of the hair formulation.
Using Candelilla Wax in Candles
The world Candelilla translates to "little candle", so Candelilla Wax has a long and traditional use as a Candle Wax.
With a melting point of approx. 68c it is highly suited to the production of natural candles.
The wax takes approx 4 days of cooling after pouring to reach full hardness.
The technical details of Candelilla Wax
Latin Name: Candelilla Cera
INCI: Euphorbia cerifera Cera
Origin: Euphorbia Cerifera Cera is a wax obtained from the Candelilla, Euphorbia cerifera, Euphorbiaceae plant
SOLUBILITY: Candelilla Wax is soluble in alcohol, but not in water.
Example Formulation with Candelilla Wax
You tend to use a little lower level of Candelilla Wax in a formulation compared to Beeswax. Keeping the levels the same as a Beeswax formulation will lead to a much harder and brittle product.
Candelilla Lip Balm
1 tsp Candelilla Wax
2 tsp Shea Butter
1 tsp Cocoa Butter
4 tsp Sweet Almond Oil
8 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
5 drops Lime Essentail Oil
Melt the Waxes, butters and oils in a double boiler (or aluminium bowl over water)
Once melted, mix well with a spoon and remove from heat. Allow to cool until you see a slight thickening and then add your essential oils, stirring vigourously.
Pour into lip balm containers straight away.
Candelilla wax is usually hard and brittle with a yellow to brown tinge.
It has a typical melting point of 68–73 °C and dissolves in acetone, benzene, chloroform, turpentine and some other organic solvents, but is insoluble in water.
Candelilla wax is usually mixed with other waxes to harden them without raising their melting points, or can be used as a substitute for Beeswax or Carnauba wax.
USE AREAS OF CANDELILLA WAX
Candelilla wax is a food additive that is used as a protective coating and thickening agent.
It is sometimes used as a vegan substitute for Beeswax and melted onto cloth to make food wraps.
Candelilla wax is used as a glazing agent.
It also acts as a release agent and a binder for chewing gum.
Candelilla wax is used as a coating for tablets and capsules.
Candelilla wax is used as a component in the manufacture of candles.
Wood Treatment Industry
Candelilla wax is used in the manufacture of varnish and polish.
Candelilla wax is an ingredient in shoe polish.
In the Personal Care industry, Candelilla wax is used as a component of lip balms and skin moisturising lotions.
In the cosmetic industry, Candelilla Wax is used as thickener for creams or solidifying agent for waxes.
It is used to manufacture lip balms, lip sticks, lotions bars, soaps, stick foundations and candles.
Candelilla Wax is collected by boiling the full-grown plant in a solution of water and Sulfuric Acid.
The latter is meant to prevent the wax and water from forming an emulsion, which the rolling water could potentially facilitate.
When the crude wax finally rises to the surface of the water and appears as a creamy, opaque, light-brown or yellow foam – called “cerote” – it is skimmed off.
Next, the wax is melted again then filtered through Activated Carbon as well as Fuller’s Earth Clay.
After this, it enters a filter press, is bleached with Hydrogen Peroxide, which later becomes neutralized, and is filtered once more.
The final product is a hard, light-yellow wax that can be easily shattered due to its brittleness.
After the wax has been further processed into blocks, lumps, pastilles, pellets, flakes, granules, or powder, it is ready to be used.
NDA’s Candelilla Wax is triple-refined and comes in the form of granular beads that have a particle size of approximately 1 mm.
It is tan in appearance and exudes a mild, slightly sweet scent.
Candelilla Wax has traditionally been used in various commercial applications for products such as inks, paints, crayons, polishing waxes and varnishes, pharmaceuticals, chewing gum, and candy; however, NDA’s Candelilla Wax is intended for topical applications only, hence it may be added to hand and foot creams, lotion bars, depilatory waxes, soaps, lip products and stick foundations among other cosmetics, as well as to candles.
The plant-based source of this wax makes it ideal for formulating vegan products.
Its texturizing property as well as its ability to create barriers between the skin and harsh environmental stressors makes it a valuable ingredient in products such as lip balms.
Its protective and softening qualities also make it a popular additive in moisturizers.
With an easy ability to combine well with other waxes, including Paraffin and Carnauba, it complements them primarily by helping to extend their beneficial properties.
It is also reputed to be an effective substitute for them.
CANDELILLA WAX PROPERTIES
Candelilla Wax functions as a thickening and hardening agent, a plasticizer, a viscosity modifier, an emollient, and a skin-protective barrier agent that helps prevent the skin from losing moisture.
It contributes shine and functions as a stabilizer, an emulsifier, a fast-absorbing lubricant, and a nourishing skin conditioner.
Candelilla Wax is reputed to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks as well as the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and age spots.
Furthermore, it is said to hydrate parched and scaly skin for enhanced smoothness.
Candelilla Wax is known to be an effective binding agent that easily fuses ingredients.
This quality makes it easy to incorporate it into most other waxes as well as resins, both natural and synthetic.
This emulsifying property mainly helps water and oil constituents to bind together with a smooth uniformity, a necessary effect for products like moisturizers, such as lotion bars, creams, and balms, to which Candelilla Wax is known to offer hydrating properties and easy spread over the skin’s surface.
Its firming effect means that it can be used to set and solidify formulas for various types of makeup, such as stick foundations, eye shadow, or lip products, to which it provides an ideal “slip” without causing the products to become too hard.
This firming property is also beneficial for candle formulations, as Candelilla Wax contributes hardness and smoothness to the final product.
APPLICATIONS FOR CANDELILLA WAX
Candelilla Wax is insoluble in water but is highly soluble in oils and alcohols.
To add Candelilla Wax to product formulations, begin by melting it before incorporating it into the chosen recipe.
When adding it to formulas that require emulsification, incorporate it into their oil phases.
PRODUCT TYPE & FUNCTION
When added to this kind of formulation…
Face, Hand, or Foot Creams
Lubricants, Lotions, Sunscreens
Salves, Ointments, Balms
Lipsticks, Lip Balms, Lip Gloss, Mascaras
Candelilla Wax functions as a(n):
Substitute for Beeswax
It helps to:
Contribute shine/gloss, especially to lip products
Provide smoothness and hardness to products that require a high melting point and a stiff consistency
Add texture and structure
Give solid and stick products their structures by enhancing the viscosity of their oil parts
Contribute a level of firmness to particular textures, such as that of eyeshadows, without causing them to harden
Emulsify immiscible liquids in to prevent them from separating in formulations with creamy consistencies
Provide excellent glide/slip to cosmetics formulations for easy spreadability as well as easy removability
Enhance rate of absorption into skin
Contribute a faint sweet scent that is reminiscent of Beeswax
Form a protective film on the skin’s surface to help repel water
Create barrier products, such as balms
Blend natural powder/mineral colorants into a formula
Complement other waxes, such as Beeswax
The recommended maximum dosage is 1-25%
Examples of Applications and Their Usage Rates:
Hair Creams (3-8%)
Candelilla wax is extracted from the candelilla shrub (Euphorbia antisyphilitica), native to Mexico. Each plant is made of more than a hundred stems of a pale green colour.
During the rainy season they grow very little pink flowers on their tops and each stem covers itself with a thick sap.
The sap turns into wax during the dry season and protects the plant from dehydration.
Candelilla was overharvested during the 20th century as the wax was used for waterproofing tents and equipment throughout the two world wars.
Its cultivation is now controlled and each harvester (or candelillero) must obtain a permit and harvest the plant in a sustainable way, such as cutting less than 60% of the plant so it can continue to grow, for example.
Lush buy the wax in Mexico, where the shrub is found in abundance, in and around the Chihuahuan Desert.
The supplier works with local communities and has put sustainability at the heart of everything they do.
From employees and farmers to land management, they invest to improve well-being, safety and environmental impact.
Common Name: Candelilla Wax Pellets
INCI Name: Euphorbia cerifera (Candelilla) Wax
Origin: Mexico / Texas
CAS NUMBER: 8006-44-8
EINECS NUMBER: 232-347-0
Melting Point: 68 - 73c
Saponification value, mg KOH/g: 43 – 65
Description: Candelilla Wax is extracted from the leaves of the Candelilla shrub which are boiled in an acidic solution before going through an additional process to remove the final wax product.
Suggestions for Use: Candelilla Wax is sometimes referred to as a ‘Replacement Wax’ as it is the ‘go to’ wax to replace other waxes.
For example it is a Vegan alternative to Beeswax in Lip Balms, Lipsticks, and Body Butters.
It also has applications in Soap Making, Candle manufacturing, and various Industrial products.
Candelilla Wax is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as GRAS, generally recognised as safe, for applications in the food industry under regulations 21CFR, 175.105, 175.320, 176.180, 184.1976 and is CTFA listed.
1. Candelilla wax is a plant wax.
It comes from the leaves of small candelilla shrubs, which are native to northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S..
The wax is harvested from the shrub leaves by immersing the whole plant in acidified boiling water.
The wax releases from the leaves, floats to the top of the boiling water and is collected.
2. Candelilla wax has unique properties.
Its color ranges from yellow to brown and from opaque to translucent.
It is also hard and brittle when solid.
Candelilla wax has a high melting point and is odorless.
3. Candelilla wax has many uses.
Candelilla wax is often mixed with other waxes to harden the blend without raising the melting point.
It is commonly used in chewing gum as a binder to hold all the ingredients together.
Candelilla wax is used in the cosmetics industry for lip balms, too.
4. Candelilla wax can be used as a vegan substitute.
Since candelilla wax and beeswax share similar properties, the waxes can be used interchangeably in some cases.
For those looking for a vegan alternative to beeswax, use candelilla wax.
Candelilla wax is a hard vegetable wax obtained from the Euphorbia Cerifera shrub indigenous to Mexico.
Only the stalks of the plants are harvested.
Candelilla wax is extracted from the plant and purified.
The wax has a pleasant sweet odour and is supplied in flake form.
Candelilla wax has an extremely good oil binding capacity.
It is mainly used in stick formulations and W/O formulations.
In sticks it provides firmness and provides excellent surface gloss.
It also facilitates mould release.
Candelilla wax can be used in combination with other waxes to increase their melting point, improve the skin feel of the final formulation and to improve the long-lasting effect of decorative cosmetics.
Congealing Point: 65-73 °C
Penetration at 25 °C: max. 2 mm
Colour: light yellow
Saponfication Value: 43-65 mg KOH/g
Acid Value: 12-22 mg KOH/g
Candelilla Cera is the extract of the wax obtained from the candelilla, Euphorbia cerifera, Euphorbiaceae
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