Scientific name: Euphorbia cerifera
Family name: Euphorbiaceae
Origin: SW USA and Mexico
BEST FOR ALL SKIN TYPES
- skin conditioning
Candelilla extract is derived from candelilla plants and used as a thickening agent and emollient to give products such as lipsticks or stick foundations their form.
Candelilla wax is a wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, Euphorbia cerifera and Euphorbia antisyphilitica, from the family Euphorbiaceae. It is yellowish-brown, hard, brittle, aromatic, and opaque to translucent.
Characteristics of the plant
Hard vegetable wax, brittle, lustrous, slightly tacky. Color varies from light brown to light yellow. Low coefficient of expansion and contraction.Candelilla is softer than carnauba wax and used with carnauba and other waxes for furniture wax formulations.
Uses and Applications
It is mostly used mixed with other waxes to harden them without raising their melting point. As a food additive, candelilla wax has the E number E 902 and is used as a glazing agent. It also finds use in cosmetic industry, as a component of lip balms and lotion bars. One of its major uses was a binder for chewing gums.
It is also the plasticizer used with chicle to make chewing gum. The wax gives the gum its “chew”. The oil retention properties of Candelilla allow the gum to hold flavors well and for this application has proven to be superior to most synthetic waxes.
Candelilla’s extraordinary molding qualities capable of reproducing fine detail make it a superior precision casting wax. Properties, such as chemical stability, water repellency, high melting point, and good electrical resistance, make Candelilla useful in electronic and electrical products, liquid and paste polishes and waterproofing compounds. Other applications include paints, sealing waxes, paint removers, cosmetics, lubricants, adhesives, dyes, paper making additives, and pyrotechnics.
Composition and production
With a melting point of 68.5–72.5 °C, candelilla wax consists of mainly hydrocarbons (about 50%, chains with 29–33 carbons), esters of higher molecular weight (20–29%), free acids (7–9%), and resins (12–14%, mainly triterpenoid esters). The high hydrocarbon content distinguishes this wax from carnauba wax. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in many organic solvents such as acetone, chloroform, benzene.
The wax is obtained by boiling the leaves and stems with dilute sulfuric acid, and the resulting "cerote" is skimmed from the surface and further processed. In this way, about 900 tons are produced annually.