3 Uses For Microcrystalline Wax

Posted: May 10, 2016

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:

1. Cosmetics

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.


2. Sports

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.


3. Adhesives

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:


9 Replies to “3 Uses For Microcrystalline Wax”

  1. Jim Mills says:

    Does Microcrystalline wax have waterproofing ability and will it remain flexible for cloth such as canvas. If so what can I use to make a relatively low odor emulsion for applying to a tent. and is it any more flammable than beeswax? What additives can I mix with it to make it easy to apply to leather, cloth etc. and do you sell it. I would also like to use it on backpacks so it would need to be dry enough that it would not get on clothing worn by user.
    Thank You
    Jim Mills

    1. Jenn Schultz says:

      Hi Jim,

      Thank you for your inquiry! Someone from our lab will be in touch with you directly.

  2. Joanna Koefoed says:

    I have this same question. Could this wax substitute the older 1:1 beeswax/paraffin waterproofing wax?

    1. Jenn Schultz says:

      Thank you for your inquiry! Microcrystalline wax would work to waterproof on it’s own, but it tends to be too tacky to work with. We would recommend using a 1:1 ratio of microcrystalline and paraffin.

  3. bill markley says:

    Is it safe to use Microcrystalline wax for making candles?

    1. Jenn Schultz says:

      Yes. Microcrystalline can be used for candle making.

  4. Jim Brough says:

    Is this product used to make a sticky wax for surfing in warmer waters?

  5. JoAnne Brown says:

    Is microcrystalline wax recyclable? If so, how long does it take to break down?

    1. Jenn Schultz says:

      It is not known how long it would take microcrystalline wax to break down as there have not been any extensive studies done.

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