Candelilla Wax is a yellow-brown wax extracted from the leaves of the Candelilla shrub. This small bush grows in the North of Mexico and the southwestern portions of Texas. The leafless succulent only grows about two feet tall and produces a hard, brittle wax with a translucent or opaque appearance. The wax consists of about 50% hydrocarbons along with esters, free acids and resins. The main application of Candelilla Wax is to make other waxes as it can harden better than other wax formulations without raising the melting point of the final wax product. Due to its binding properties, Candelilla wax is also used in the making of chewing gums.
Candelilla Wax is the basis of many beauty products because it is easily absorbed into the skin and scalp while also preventing moisture loss. For this reason it is used in the cosmetics industry as a component in lotion bars and lip balms. Other consumer products include its use as a protective film, a non-gelling thickener, as a skin conditioner, a cosmetic astringent, and to stabilize or emulsify cream-based cosmetics.