Emulsifier and hair conditioner
Stearic acid is used in haircare products; it coats the hair shaft, giving it condition and protection without making it dull or heavy. It is also used as an emulsifier in lotions and makeup.
All animal and vegetable oils are triglycerides, combinations of glycerol and an acid. Fatty acid is so named because it is part of this fatty mixture. Lush products use a vegetable-based stearic acid, which can be either from a coconut or palm source. Lush have developed a palm-free soap base in order to eliminate palm oil from products, unfortunately it is very difficult to source stearic acid that is completely segregated from palm. Lush are currently working with suppliers to produce stearic acid that is completely palm free.
Stearic acid is a white flake or bead. It is only slightly soluble in water, but it easily dissolves in oil.