Beeswax Yellow NF Pastilles
Beeswax, considered to be among the earliest of raw materials used by man from the time of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, was used in many ways, not the least of which was in early medicament and cosmetics.
We're now offering Yellow Beeswax pastilles made here in the USA to the National Formulary standard. Their small pastille form make them extremely easy to work with.
Beeswax, by itself is not an emulsifier. When combined with Sodium Borate (aka Borax) in water, an emulsion can be made. This is because borax dissolves in water and produces boric acid and sodium hydroxide. The sodium hydroxide interacts with the cerotic acid in the beeswax (present at about 13%), neutralizing it and forming an anionic emulsifier called sodium cerotate and the boric acid acts to buffer the resulting emulsion. This emulsifier makes the oil and water less likely to separate and the resulting cream more stable.
Steve Herman, in this article, gives some excellent information on beeswax and early cold creams, along with an understanding of the amount of borax typically needed to create these emulsions (not very much!). As he notes "The theoretical amount of borax needed in the emulsion is the quantity required to neutralize free acids in beeswax. The acid number of beeswax ranges from 17 - 24; so between 57.9 - 81.5mg of borax is required from 1 gram of beeswax. Borax is 5 - 7% of the weight of beeswax. Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) or other bases may be used to neutralize the acids, but boric acid from borax buffers the system, reducing the effect of hydrolysis."
The amount of water in these formulations will determine the type of emulsion formed. As Steve noted in the above article, a phase volume of 45% water was the critical point for determining the emulsion type:
- Less than 45% water = a water-in-oil emulsion
- Greater than 45% water = an oil-in-water emulsion
Most beeswax/borax emulsions tend to be made with 45% or less water, making a water-in-oil emulsion.
While it is possible to make an "emulsion" with just beeswax, oils and water, heat and a great deal of mechanical high shear mixing, these resulting "emulsions" are not inherently stable and will tend to separate on standing, or when subjected to heat. This is because they are solely mechanical emulsions rather than chemically based ones. Generally, they will not stand up to freeze/thaw stability testing (it will be noted that even beeswax/borax emulsions find this test difficult!).
Beeswax is also used in many anhydrous products where it thickens formulations, adds to binding strength and improves structure, oil retention, pay-off and mold release.Applications
- Lip balms and lotion bars
- Emulsions (oil-in-water and water-in-oil)
- Thickener for anhydrous, oil-based serums
Shipping Information: HS Code 1521.90.0000
Recommended Use Rates: 1 - 100%
Appearance: Yellow Pastilles
Odor: Neutral to wax-like
Acid Value: 17-24 mg KOH/g wax
Melting Point: 62 - 65°C (143.6 - 149.0°F)
Shelf Life: Retest 3 years from date of manufacture
Country of Origin: USA
INCI: US: Beeswax
EU: Cera Flava