When you formulate cosmetic products in stick form, you are putting together a system that is portable, stable, and has ease of use written all over it. Plus, the market for stick products is especially hot right now.

With that in mind, looking for the right structuring ingredients could give you pause—until you get familiar with the versatility inherent in sunflower wax. As petrochemicals come increasingly under scrutiny in cosmetics, the time is right to examine the broad compatibility of sunflower wax in a wide array of applications.

Why Replace with Sunflower Wax?

Sunflower wax provides structure to many anhydrous systems, regardless of oil medium or presence of pigments or powders. Even at low percentages, sunflower wax can improve high temperature stability, preserve stick integrity, and offset a tacky feel. For these reasons, sunflower wax is the wax of choice to create hard sticks, including lip balms, lipsticks, and deodorants. It can also be used as a replacement for typical “no list” ingredients, such as polyethylene, paraffin and other petrochemical waxes.

In study after study, Koster Keunen found that sunflower wax performed consistently in gel formation—a necessity when forming cosmetic stick products. The results were not limited by oil origin, either. Sunflower wax performed equally well across a broad spectrum of popular oil mediums.

Moving out the Petrochemicals

The versatility of sunflower wax becomes increasingly important as consumers continue to become more label conscious. More and more, the market is trending toward natural and clean beauty products.

Beyond the attractiveness of the positive label image, sunflower wax meets the demanding specifications of the deodorant market. Natural stick deodorants continue to grow in popularity, and the requirements for the medium are high. The structure must remain consistent over the use of the whole stick; the formula must carry a high volume of powder; and glide and payout must be perfectly balanced for the product to perform up to expectations.

Sunflower wax at a one-to-one ratio, replaced commonly used petrochemicals and outperform the Ozokerite formulas.

These all-natural deodorants proved their potency in multiple categories including the structure and application criteria.

Sunflower Wax Hands Down Winning Formulas

We put our research into practice in these two formulas to show how versatile and effective sunflower wax can be as a structurant. With our Put Your Hands Up! Deodorant we present a vegan and natural formula that supports high powder loading and excellent slip.

Formula#: 7/20-258/286/484-5

Ingredient Trade Name INCI Name %
Phase A
Sunflower Wax Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax 8.0
AR Cocoa Butter Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter 8.0
Kester Wax K-60P Polyhydroxystearic Acid 13.0
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil 22.0
Jeechem CTG Caprylyc/Capric Triglyceride 16.0
Magnesium Hydroxide Magnesium Hydroxide 20.0
SMA Arrowroot Powder Maranta Arundinacea Root Powder 12.0
Vitamin E Acetate Tocopheryl Acetate 1.0

In our Take My Hand Balm, sunflower wax provides enough structure for easy spreading, while allowing the consumer to experience an instantly moisturized feeling from the oils in the formula.

Formula #: 6/20-258/286/364-7

Ingredient Trade Name INCI Name %
Phase A
AR Cocoa Butter Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter 10.0
Sunflower Wax Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax 6.0
Kester Wax K-60P Polyhydroxystearic Acid 12.0
Kester Wax K-82P C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearoyl Stearate 1.0
Kester Wax K-24 Lauryl Laurate 4.0
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil 35.0
Jojoba Oil Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil 16.0
Rice Bran Oil Oryza Sativa (Rice Bran) Oil 15.0
Vitamin E Acetate Tocopheryl Acetate 0.8
Floviva Lavandin Oil Lavandula Hybrida Oil 0.2

Go Natural with Confidence

Koster Keunen’s commitment to sustainability drives our research and development, and our formulations reflect this. Whatever structure and texture questions and goals you have, Koster Keunen can provide the formulation guidance, protype formulas, and waxes to get your formula started, and the additional system ingredients, like plasticizers or cruelty-free beeswax, to make your formula uniquely effective. Please contact us to discuss your formulation needs today.

About Koster Keunen

Koster Keunen has been working with wax since 1852 and has used our extensive experience and knowledge base to continuously develop new chemistries. Whether you are developing a new product, or need help with a reformulation or replacement, contact us to learn more about how we source, refine or develop waxes so you can create the perfect formula.