Stearin or Stearic Acid is a raw material that can be used versatile, and which can be found in chewing gums, creams, soaps and even in the candles used by households.
If you are interested in it, you can learn from our article exactly what kind of characteristics it has and which fields it can be used in:
- Characteristics of Stearic Acid
- Stearin and the cosmetic industry
- The role of the Stearin in the food industry
- The Stearin and candles
Characteristics of Stearic Acid
Stearic acid is a colourless, waxy solid material that does not dissolve in water. It can be dissolved in oils and alcohol. It can have an animal or plant origin. Stearic acid of animal origin can be found in suet and the Stearic Acid of plant origin can be found in cocoa butter. Almost one-third of the cocoa butter is Stearic Acid and besides this, it contains palmitic acid and oleic acid. Stearic acid is also produced by the human body which has an important role in the control of blood pressure and blood coagulation.
Stearin and the cosmetic industry
It is an important raw material of cosmetic products. It is used as a component in face creams, body lotions, shaving products/foams, soaps. Its proportion can be 2-10% of the total weight. Stearic acid commercially available is usually mixed with palmitic acid and oleic acid. Stearic acid does not have a caring feature but it helps the absorption of the active ingredients and strengthens the effect of other emulsifying agents. Thanks to the Stearin the adhesion of creams improves and the best before the date of them increases.
There are cosmetic products in which Stearin is used because of its thickening and starchy features. Moreover using it as a consistency increasing agent is also common. It has got an excellent cleaning effect mixing it with other compounds. Therefore it can often be found in soaps and shower baths. The hardness of soaps increases as well with applying Stearin. The starchy feature of it can be seen in soaps with especially high vegetable oil content. The nacreous lustre of the body lotions and shampoos is thanks to the Stearin as well. The portion of the Stearic Acid can be 5% in soaps. Another advantageous feature of Stearic Acid for the cosmetic industry is that its melting point is higher than the body temperature so it is an often-used raw material in foundation creams too.
The role of the Stearin in the food industry
It has an anti-caking role in the food industry, you can find it within the ingredients as E570. It is used mainly to make the texture of margarine and buttercream better, but you can find it in chewing gums, sweets made from different sugars, certain aromas and in bakery products too. Its daily intake is not maximized. It has no known side effects.
The Stearin and candles
The most frequent field of usage of the Stearin is candle making. Its melting point is 55-58 Celsius degrees – a little bit higher than of other waxes – so it is mainly ideal for making carved candles. When it is melted it is water-clear but the finished candle gets an opaline glitter thanks to Stearin in it. During candle making, Stearin is used for hardening the body. So the candle is more shape-retaining and it is easier to carve. Its further advantage is that it lengthens the burning time of candles too and it has less soot is generated than with traditional candles.
Paraffin or Stearin candles, which are better?
Paraffin is an oil product, during its burnt substances are released which are adverse to health, for example, alkane, alkene, ketone, toluene and benzol get into the air. It can cause health problems mainly if someone uses this for a long time on a daily basis. However, if there is a healthier and safer alternative why do not we choose that? Stearin candle is also called bio candle because it is made from natural raw material. It can be plant-based, for example, made from palm or coconut oil or can be made from animal raw material like suet of cattle. The main point is that less soot and harmful substances are generated during its burnt so it is a safer alternative to paraffin candles.
Many people consider worrying that Stearin is extracted from palm oil. It is common knowledge that planting a palm plantation to destroy rainforests is needed. So if we would like to get not just a health-conscious but environment-conscious decision we can choose a product whose ingredients are from plantations planted in a sustainable way. If you would like a totally healthy alternative stay with the plain Stearin candle. Avoid the types in which varnish, colouring or fragrance is added.
As Stearin is a natural, healthy substance without any side effects. You can safely choose those products whose ingredient is Stearic Acid or E570.