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Skin Anatomy and Physiology Acne Ingredients Cosmetics
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W

walnut extract

This extract from the husk of the walnut ~Juglans regia,) is superior to artificial hair coloring chemicals. It dyes hair a natural deep-brown color, and it can be combined with henna and coffee to make a deep red-brown.

waxes

Waxes (which can be white, brown, green, yellow, amber or black) have many cosmetic, food and industrial uses. Their use in cosmetics can be traced hack to ancient Egypt, where wonien coated their bodies with a mixture of melted wax and essential oils. They would then attend a festive occasion (perhaps a religious ceremony) and, as they danced, the wax would slowly melt, releasing the fragrance of the essential oils.

Another ancient use for waxes is to create emulsions for cosnielic creams. The Greek physician Galen (who worked in Rome around 150 A.D.) used beeswax in the first cold cream. Today, however, synthetic and petroleum waxes are more frequently used than vegetable or animal ones. (Vegetable waxes—also called plant waxes—are esters of fatty acids and fatty alcohols.)

An aesthetician might use a wax as a skin care mask or to increase absorption of other skin care products into the skin (a process called hvdro-occlusion). For example, there’s a treatment in which arthritis medication is combined with hot wax and then spread over the hand, providing therapeutic results as it cools. Here are some of the waxes commonly used in cosmetics:

Beeswax is excreted by the honeybee, Apis me ll~f era (family Apidae) to construct its honeycomb. It’s extracted by boiling the honeycomb in water and skimming the wax off the top. The color of beeswax varies from deep brown to light amber, depending on what flowers the bee visited for pollen. Beeswax is compatible with most other waxes, fatty acids, fatty alcohols and plant glycerides. Some people are allergic to it.

Bayberry wax is gray-green and is very aromatic. It’s obtained by boiling the wax-coated berries of the bayberry shrub and skimming off the wax as it floats to the top. The bayberry shrub grows in the coastal areas of North, Central and South America, but most commercial bayberry wax comes from Columbia. Its melting point is 10001200 F, and it’s compatible with most other waxes, fatty acids, hydrocarbons and plant glycerides.

Candplilla wax is found in the scales covering reed-like plants (Euphorbiea antisiphilitica, Euphorbiea cerifera and Pedilan thus pavonis) that grow wild on rocky slopes and plains in northwest Mexico and southern Texas. When the plant is boiled in water with a small amount of sulfuric acid, the light brown to yellow wax floats to the top and can be skimmed off. This wax isn’t as hard as carnauba, and it takes several days to reach its maximum hardness. Its melting point is 155o~162o F, and it’s compatible with all vegetable and animal waxes and some hydrocarbons.

Carnauba wax is exuded by the leaves of a Brazilian tree (Copernica cerifera) to conserve its moisture. The natives of Brazil use various products from this tree for many necessities, which is why they call it arbol del x’ida, which means tree of life. There are many carnauba palms in other parts of South America, Ceylon and equatorial Africa, but only the Brazilian trees have the wax (the result of Brazil’s irregular rainy seasons). Yellow in color, carnauba ~vax melts at 181 0 F and higher, and it’s cornpatil)le with all vegetable, animal and mineral waxes as well as with many plant glycerides, fatty acids and hydrocarbons.

Ceres in wax, a petroleum product that’s derived from the mineral ozokerite by refining and bleaching, is considered a higher-grade paraffin. White to tan in color, its melting point is 128o~i5Oo F, and it’s compatible with vegetable, animal and mineral waxes, many synthetic chemical resins, fatty acids, plant glycerides and hydrocarbons.

Japan wax is a pale, cream-colored vegetable wax with a gummy feel, obtained from the berries of several Japanese sumac (hazel) trees. The berries are aged, wax is a pale, cream-colored vegetable wax with a gummy feel, obtained from the berries of several Japanese sumac (hazel) trees. The berries are aged, then crushed to get at the wax-coated kernels inside; the wax is extracted by pressure or with a solvent. To refine it, it’s melted and filtered, then bleached with chemicals or sunlight. Its melting point is 1150—1200F, and it’s compatible with beeswax, cocoa butter and plant glycerides.

Jojoba wax is made by hydrogenating the liquid wax of the jojoba shrub (Sirnrnondsia chine nsis) with a nickel-copper catalyst at mild temperatures and pressures. The hard, white wax that results melts at 149o~154o F, and is compatible with most other waxes and plant glycerides.

Microcrystalline wax is a mixture of hydrocarbons and paraffins in a matrix of small crystals. Colored white, yellow and black, its melting point is 140—2050F, and it’s compatible with most other waxes.

Mon tan wax is a dark-brown, brown or tan wax derived from lignites (low-grade coal) from Central Europe and California. They’re crushed to a powder and the waxy material is extracted by solvents. Montan wax melts at 181 0—1900F, and it’s compatible with vegetable waxes, hydrocarbons and resins.

Ouricury wax is exuded from the leaves of the ourmcury palm (Syagrus coronata) which grows in Brazil. The greenish-brown wax can only be removed by scraping the leaves with a sharp instrument. The color varies depending on the care taken during processing. It melts at 18Oo~184o F, and is compatible with all vegetable, animal and mineral waxes, resins, fatty acids, plant glycerides and hydrocarbons.

Ozokerite wax is a bituminous product occurring near petroleum deposits in Poland, Austria, Russia, Ukraine, Utah and Texas. Unlike the paraffins and microcrystalline waxes, ozokerite waxes have long fibers. As a hydrocarbon product, this wax is less desirable in cosmetics. Ozokerite comes in white and yellow, and its melting point varies according to grade (most flakes melt at 1520~1650 F). It’s compatible with all vegetable waxes, resins, animal waxes, plant glvcerides and fatty acids.

Paraffin waxes are hard, white, crystalline materials refined from petroleum by the use of various solvents. They’re very widely used in cereal wraps, food wraps, corrugated containers, cheese and vegetable coatings, candles and textiles. If you want to avoid petrochemicals, paraffin is one of the substances that will make doing that the most difficult.

Normally white in color, paraffins take on a dark color (and begin to smell) when they become rancid. Paraffins melt at between 1120 and 1650 F, and are compatible with some vegetable, mineral and animal waxes.

Rice bran is a commercially important source of edible oil, and this oil contains a wax that’s removed by purification and crystallization. The resulting rice bran wax is better as a coating for fruits, vegetables, confectionery and chewing gum than paraffins or petrochemical waxes, and it’s also suitable for cosmetics. Varying from tan to light brown in color, it melts between 1690 and 1810 F. It’s compatible with all other waxes, fatty acids, plant glycerides and hydrocarbons.

Spermaceti wax comes from the sperm whale, whose murder is forbidden by U.S. government regulations. See spermaceti.

wetting agents

These substances promote the penetration or spreading of a liquid, and are used to help mix solids with liquids. See humectant.

humectant.

wheat bran

This fibrous outer coating of the wheat kernel is used in masks and baths for its calming and exfoliating effect.

wheat germ oil

Used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, this oil from the embryo of the wheat kernel is high in vitamin E.

vitamin E.

white cainellia (Carnellia ole~fera Abel)

(Carnellia ole~fera Abel)

The oil expressed from the seeds of the camellia flower is an excellent hair and skin emollient, high in essential fatty acids. A green tea made from the leaves is also used in hair care and skin care products. Wild white camellia has been used for hundreds of years in China and Japan. I first brought it to the United States from the Longevity Village in China, to use as a cosmetic ingredient in a variety of skin and hair care products.

whitehead

A small, whitish mass beneath the surface of the skin caused by the retention of seburn. See blackhead.

blackhead.

white lead

Beginning in Elizabethan times, women used this highlv toxic substance (also called ceruse) to give their faces a smooth porcelain finish. Around 1900, it was finally replaced by rice powder.

wood alcohol

See methanol.

 


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Skin Anatomy and Physiology Acne Ingredients Cosmetics
Dictionary of Skin Care Terms Skin Care Advice Skin Problems
The Sun & Your Skin Skin Care News  


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