Stabiliser and Thickener
Sodium stearate is a fine, white powder and the sodium salt of stearic acid, an emulsifier. It is a stabiliser and a thickener used in soaps, colour cosmetics, deodorants and in hair and skin care products.
Sodium stearate is used to harden some of the Lush’s ‘hot pour’ soaps and solid deodorants. It helps to create a wide variety of large shapes and sizes from which we then cut fresh slices for our customers to take home. It has also the ability to make a product opaque and contribute to give soaps a creamy white foam.
Lush has developed a palm-free soap base to eliminate palm oil from its products, however, it is very difficult to source a sodium stearate that is completely palm free. Currently, Lush is working with suppliers to produce a good alternative and tests have already been made, but we haven’t been happy with the result. Fortunately, one of those palm-free versions has been successfully used in Orangutan Soap, which is promising for the future.