What is it? Cera bellina is a modified beeswax (“the free fatty acids have been converted to polyglycerols esters“) that thickens oils and butters into very cool, glide-y oil gels.
INCI Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax
Appearance Small off-white pellets/beads
Usage rate This really depends on what you want to make. I did an experiment using it at different levels that you can review here. You aren’t likely to need more than 30% cera bellina in products.
Texture Creates rich, slippy oil gels.
Scent Nothing noticeable
Absorbency Speed Quite slow
Approximate Melting Point 63–73ºC (145–163°F)
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in formulations? Cera bellina does a few very cool things! Its primary use is as a thickener/solidifier, creating very smooth, slippy oil gels. It also helps with pigment distribution, reduces sweating in solid balms, and can function as a co-emulsifier. I love using it to create ointments and lip glosses, where it thickens and gives a beautiful gel consistency that is really well suited to those types of products.
Do you need it? No, but I would recommend it if you are especially fond of ointments or lip gloss.
Refined or unrefined? It only exists as a refined product.
Strengths Creates very cool, smooth oil gels.
Weaknesses Not vegan, harder to acquire than most waxes.
Alternatives & Substitutions Nothing really works the same way as cera bellina; you can try using beeswax instead, but you won’t get the oil gel effect.
How to Work with It Include cera bellina in your heated oil phase; it must be melted to use. Products made with it can feel quite greasy, so I’d recommend shifting your oil balance towards faster absorbing oils.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, cera bellina should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks The inclusion of cera bellina in your formulas can help prevent graininess in butters like shea butter.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3.3oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Formulations that Use Cera Bellina


Posted on

January 14, 2019