Can I use _______ wax instead of the wax called for in the recipe?

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/thickeners behave in formulations, and what they contribute:

Waxes & Pseudo-Waxes

Thickeners

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 unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada) or mango butter, so if you don’t have the particular floral wax I’d recommend swapping it out for about 0.7–0.9% of a soft butter and 0.1–0.3% of a similar essential or fragrance oil to get a similar effect 🙂 Example: if a formulation called for 1% rose wax you could replace it with 0.8% mango butter and 0.2% rose fragrance oil.

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

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