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Stearic acid has broad use in both soap, skin care and candles. It can be a very cost-effective addition as it can replace, or part-replace, butters in formulations.
In soap, stearic acid contributes to hardness and helps to produce a creamy, more stable lather.
In creams, lotions and even anhydrous products, it can increase thickness and density as well as help to stabilise an emulsion. It has a lovely skin-feel and an excellent emollient, so leaves the skin feeling soft and silky.
Stearic acid should be melted with the oil phase of a formulation but, because it is a fatty acid and not an oil, it can be useful in helping to reduce the greasy feel of some skin care products.
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