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Aluminium Stearate in Cosmetics

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Aluminum is a super yucky ingredient that can cause a range of not-so-cute short and long term side effects. From itchy armpits to that not-so-cute foundation breaking you out, there’s plenty of reasons why babes should avoid this one.

Aluminium Stearate is the aluminium salt of stearic acid and it’s used in cosmetics because of its lubricating properties. It can be found in a variety of makeup products such as eyeliner, mascara, lipsticks, blushes and face powders. It’s also used as an emulsion stabiliser, a thickener and a coating ingredient.

It’s also commonly found in Varnishes/Lacquers and as an anti-settling agent for pigmentation (it coats the surface of the pigments keeping them in suspension). It can be a good water repellent, is hydrophobic and improves gloss.

Research has shown that when it’s applied topically to the skin (such as in antiperspirant) it can become a pro-oxidant and lead to damage. This hasn’t yet been linked to sunscreens/sunblocks but it is possible that the daily application of such products could exacerbate any oxidative damage to the skin.

It’s a fine white powder that has a slight fatty odour. American Elements is able to supply it in various forms including as a solution, nanopowder and particle size distribution for applications requiring non-aqueous solubility. Alternatively, it’s available as a standard product from our AE Organo-Metallics line.