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Stearic acid is a white, crystalline solid that is odourless and insoluble in water. It is commonly used as a hardener in rubber products and also works as a lubricant and antifoaming agent.
Stearic Acid is derived from natural fats and oils, such as cocoa butter or shea butter. It is a valuable saturated fatty acid that has an 18-carbon chain.
Its primary use is as a base for other ingredients that are intended to be incorporated into formulations as lubricants, emollients, and thickeners. It is a good choice for lotions and creams because of its rich texture and ability to contribute to a soft, smooth feel.
When applied to skin, stearic acid has been reported to be beneficial as a treatment for psoriasis. It is a safe, mild, non-toxic alternative to salicylic acid that can help reduce inflammation and redness of the skin.
Stearic acid is an important component of the manufacturing process for many rubber compounds. The chemical reaction between sulphur and natural rubber, known as vulcanization, converts the plastic and viscous nature of raw rubber into an elastic material with excellent tensile strength and elasticity. Its hardness and abrasion resistance are also superior to those of raw rubber.