Trade in Emulsifying Wax for This Safer Wax in Your Beauty Products

Candelilla wax

Industry expert comes clean on the ingredients found in professional products.

July’s PRO: Jeannie Jarnot, founder and CEO, Beauty Heroes 

Candelilla wax 
Candelilla wax is a plant-based wax that is extracted from the waxy leaves of the Candelilla shrub, euphorbia cerifera, common in the southern U.S. This natural alternative to synthetic emulsifying wax and vegan alternative to beeswax is effective at preventing moisture barrier loss in balms, creams, shampoos, hairstyling products, lotions, and makeup. 
Star Products: Josh Rosebrook’s Styling Cream and Au Naturale’s Zero Gravity C2P Foundation ( 

Emulsifying Wax NF 
Emulsifying Wax NF is a common, inexpensive ingredient used in lotions and creams to give them a smooth consistency and help keep them from separating.

Emulsifying wax is made by adding a detergent (typically polysorbate-60 or steareth-20) to a vegetable- or petroleum-based oil. This process of adding the detergent to the oil to form the wax is called ethoxylation, which may give off 1,4-dioxane, a toxic carcinogen. The letters ‘NF’ after the term Emulsifying Wax, which indicates that it meets the standard of the National Formulary and is approved to be used in products prescribed as medicine in the U.S., are particularly misleading as to its safety.