The first place to start is looking up the wax the recipe calls for in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia and seeing what alternatives are listed as recommended substitutions!
In the case of candelilla and carnauba waxes, go for it—they are very similar.
Otherwise, the answer is generally a sort of “yes, but in different amounts and the final product will have a different texture/scent.”
I recommend reading over some of my oil and wax experiments to get an idea of how different waxes behave in formulations:
- Beeswax & Liquid Oil
- Beeswax & Coconut Oil
- Carnauba Wax & Liquid Oil
- Candelilla Wax & Liquid Oil
- Bayberry Wax & Liquid Oil
- Cocoa Butter & Liquid Oil
If it’s a floral wax, that’s a slightly different case. Floral waxes don’t serve to thicken a formula—they are generally used in very small amounts for fragrance. They have the texture of a soft butter, like shea butter or mango butter, so if you don’t have the particular floral wax I’d recommend swapping it out for an equal amount of a soft butter, and adding a drop or two of the essential oil (or a similar one) to get a similar effect 🙂
If it’s orange wax, that’s another entirely different case. Orange wax is actually liquid—it’s not waxy in the slightest. A good alternative would be jojoba oil or another medium weight carrier oil with a few drops of orange essential oil. You could also blend the jojoba with a bit of buriti or sea buckthorn seed oil to get the orange tint that orange wax brings to products.
Posted in: Substitutions