I don’t like the sounds of emulsifying wax—can I use beeswax (or a plant based wax) instead?

Sadly, swapping out emulsifying wax for anything other than an emulsifier (which beeswax isn’t, sadly) is like using a paint chip instead of an egg because they’re both yellow. You can pair beeswax with borax to make an emulsion, but then you can only do a 1:1 ratio of oils to water, which makes for a very greasy lotion (borax also generally gets lower safety rating than e-waxes). I have seen plain beeswax emulsions achieved as well, but it’s a much more complicated process that melt & blend, which is what e-wax gives us (I’m still working on figuring out exactly what that process is—no luck so far after 5+ years!).

Emulsifying wax isn’t just one ingredient, though—there are a lot of different types, made from different ingredients. All of these ingredients are usually derived from plants—mostly coconut & palm because they’re very cheap. I like emulsimulse—not only does it make beautiful lotions, but it is ECOCERT approved for use in certified organic products, and it gets good ratings on Skin Deep. If you can’t get Emulsimulse/Ritamulse look for polawax, emulsifying wax NF, and ritamulse/vegemulse (other names for emulsimulse), and BTMS-50 (not BTMS-25!). All will do the same thing. Oddly enough, not everything sold as “emulsifying wax” is a complete emulsifier (some need to be paired with something else), so be sure to read up on the ingredient before buying it.

Posted in: Ingredients

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