What Is Ceresin In Your Beauty Products?

If you've ever taken a sweeping glance at your beauty products' packaging, then you'll probably have noticed a long list of scientifically labeled ingredients that sound incredibly confusing. In fact, according to the Australian Academy of Science, there can be up to 50 ingredients stuffed into a single makeup product. That's certainly a lot!


While many of us pay little attention to what's on the label, there's actually an array of ingredients that are incredibly beneficial when used in cosmetics. These ingredients help to form the perfect end product that you get in your hands, and we pack them onto our skin every day. Without them, we may not have some of our most cherished beauty products, such as foundation or moisturizer. One useful ingredient used by many companies is a waxy substance known as ceresin, which is found in various beauty products across the industry. Often compared to paraffin and beeswax, it has a variety of benefits for both producers and consumers. Paraffin and beeswax are often used in cosmetics to keep skin soft. But what about ceresin, and what is there to know about this fascinating ingredient?


What is ceresin?

While you may have never heard of it before, ceresin is a commonly used ingredient within the beauty industry. You can find it in products such as lipsticks, moisturizers, and bronzers, among many others. So, what is it? Ceresin is a mineral wax that is made up of a purified form of ozokerite, another form of wax that is most recognizable for its darker color. Crude ozokerite comes from one of two places: petroleum or mineral sources. To be made into ceresin, the ozokerite is treated with "heat and sulfuric acid," explains Jaimie DeRosa, M.D., a certified facial plastic surgeon at Boston's Derosa Clinic (via InStyle).


However, ceresin is notably different from ozokerite. Not only does it have a higher melting point, but it also has a harder, firmer texture, and boasts a much lighter color. The waxy ingredient is commonly found in an array of beauty products, but why?

Why is ceresin used in beauty products?

Ceresin has a similar consistency to other hardened waxes, such as paraffin or beeswax, and is often used to alter the texture of products, helping to give them a thicker consistency. A thicker consistency is vital for certain products, but why? Thickeners are often used in the beauty industry to help improve the stability or feel of a product (via Chemists Corner). While many of us may not even think about it, the quality of a product ultimately ends up influencing our purchasing decisions, and whether we will be a returning customer.


So, how is ceresin used in harmony with our cosmetics? As it turns out, it can dramatically affect the end product we see. For example, ceresin may be used to help thicken a skin cream or to make lipstick less prone to breakage. Of course, these benefits will help your beauty products to last longer, meaning you don't have to replace them as often. In addition, having a thicker product may also make a product more appealing to a consumer due to the texture and feel of it on the skin. If a product is more appealing, it may ultimately lead to more sales.

Ceresin is also used as an emulsifier

As well as boasting thickening properties, ceresin also has other uses. The ingredient isn't only used to alter the texture; it's also used as an emulsifier for beauty products, explains Dr. Jaimie DeRosa to InStyle. In simple terms, this means that ceresin helps to combine two ingredients that would otherwise not mix together without it. One great real-life example of an emulsifier is soap, which brings together oil and water. It's due to this reason that emulsifiers are widely used within the industry, as they help to mix a long string of essential ingredients together. In addition, ceresin has also been shown to hold waterproofing properties.


Together, the thickening and emulsifying properties work in harmony with one another to make overall improvements to the form and texture of a product. As a result, customers will get better formulas in their hands. Using emulsifiers in the beauty industry is commonplace when it comes to creating certain products, such as hair conditioners and lotions.

Ceresin is used in both beauty and skincare products

Ceresin has a wide range of uses and applications, and it's also incredibly versatile. Not only is it used in beauty products, but it's also used in a wide range of skincare lines, too. So, which beauty and skincare products contain the ingredient? 


Some notable beauty products that contain ceresin include lipstick, lip balm, contour sticks, eyeliner, concealers, foundation, eyeshadow, and mascara. Of course, many of these act as staples in our makeup bags, whether creating a natural or a heavier look. However, as mentioned earlier, ceresin is also widely used in skincare products. Some products that contain the ingredient include sunscreens, moisturizers, serums, and creams, as well as haircare products such as styling gels and conditioners. While this isn't an extensive list, it can give you a rough idea of the types of products where you can expect to find this ingredient.

It has hydrating properties

While most of ceresin's benefits are unlocked during the production process, there are also ways that it can positively impact the quality of your skin. If you have dry or rough skin, using the ingredient can provide hydration and help to heal your skin more quickly versus if you didn't use it, explains cosmetic dermatologic surgeon Howard Sobel, M.D. (via Brydie).


This makes it a great candidate for products such as creams, moisturizers, sunscreens, and serums, which are all applied directly to the skin. Likewise, if you have cracked lips, then lip balm containing the ingredient may also be a good choice. If hydration is a particular concern of yours, there are plenty of skincare ingredient combinations that can help to improve your skin. To check whether a product contains the ingredient, it's best to ask or check the product label yourself. While most of the time it should be labeled as ceresin, other names can include CERIN or ceresin wax. However, how safe is it to use on your skin?

Is ceresin toxic?

If you use a lot of haircare and beauty products, then you probably want to know if ceresin is toxic. Thankfully, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), it's generally safe to use and non-toxic, with no major concerns being reported. However, there has been minimal research into the ingredient, making it difficult to back any major claims. On the other hand, the research available shows that there is minimal risk of irritation and that it's generally safe for use on the skin — an encouraging sign.


As well as being non-toxic, ceresin is also vegan. So, if you're concerned about the ingredient being derived from animals, you can rest assured that it's definitely safe. Of course, if you want to be 100% sure, you should always check that the brand you're purchasing from is vegan too. If it is, then you should be good to go with whatever product you select. Furthermore, no major side effects have ever been reported. However, if you find that any irritation occurs, you should stop using the product and discuss alternative options with a professional. There are also certain skincare ingredients to avoid if you have eczema, so make sure to check for those in addition.