Microcrystalline wax is a petroleum wax derived from crude oil. It is de-oiled during the refining process, meaning the oil is removed leaving wax behind. Paraffin wax is also derived from crude oil, but it isn’t as flexible as microcrystalline wax.
The color of this wax ranges from brown to white depending on how refined the wax is. Microcrystalline wax is usually used as an additive in wax blends to increase opacity, hardness and flexibility. Learn about some uses for microcrystalline waxes:
Microcrystalline wax is added to a variety of cosmetics, including creams and lotions, waterproof mascara, pressed powder, lipstick and eyeliner. In creams and lotions, the wax is used as a viscosity builder. Adding microcrystalline wax to mascara gives it water repelling properties. In pressed powder, microcrystalline wax acts as a binder and adds softness to the product. The hardness of microcrystalline wax gives eyeliner pencils and lipsticks structure to prevent them from crumbling with use.
Microcrystalline wax is essential for ice hockey players and snowboarders. This wax is applied to the friction tape used on ice hockey sticks to prevent the tape from disintegrating when it gets wet. The tackiness of microcrystalline wax also helps increase puck control.
Snowboarders use microcrystalline wax on the underside of their snowboards to reduce friction and increase the gliding ability of the board. The wax makes it easier to control the board, too.
The tacky qualities of microcrystalline wax makes for a great adhesive! Microcrystalline wax is used in bookbinding, carton and case sealing, carpet binders and backings, and container labeling.
Check out our past blogs to learn more about microcrystalline wax: