{dfp-include} Ingredients -- Waxes
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Ingredients --

Waxes

Chemical Formula:

Synonyms

Beeswax (Triacontanyl palmitate),
Octadecyl octadecanoate (stearyl stearate),
Dodecyl hexadecanoate (lauryl palmitate),
Cetyl palmitate,
Lanolin
Canauba wax
Glycol distearate
Jojoba oil

Description

Waxes are esters, combinations of long chain alcohols and long chain fatty acids. (There are waxes made from more complicated building blocks, but what we commonly call waxes are esters.)

The wax that bees make is a complicated mixture of many compounds, but about 70% of it is the wax made from the fatty acid palmitic acid and the long chain alcohol triacontanol (melissyl alcohol).

Uses

Waxes are used as a water resistant coating on cars and furniture.

Waxes are also used in lipsticks and eyebrow pencils, in liquid soaps and shampoos to give a pearlescent effect (the tiny flakes of the wax glycol distearate reflect the light).

Lanolin is a wax made by sheep sebaceous glands and washed out of wool with detergents. It is used in many hair and skin care products.

Waxes are the principal component in traditional varnishes such as shellac, a wax made by the cochineal insect Tachardia lacca.

Waxes are made into candles, but most candles these days are made from long chain hydrocarbons called paraffin, which are not true waxes.


By Simon Quellen Field

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