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Candelilla wax (Euphorbia cerifera)

Candelilla wax is a hard and brittle wax extracted from the wax-coated stems of Candelilla shrubs (usually from the plant Euphorbia cerifera, syn. Euphorbia antisyphilitica). The plant grows wild in North-eastern Mexico and the plains and foothills of the Chihuahua desert.

The plant has traditionally been harvested from the wild to extract the thick wax coating, originally used to make candles, giving candelilla its name ‘little candle.’

Mass production for commercial uses began in Mexico in the early 20th century. World War One increased the demand for this wax because it was used to waterproof military equipment and tents.

Commercial uses for candelilla wax include polishes, candles, lubricants, paper waterproofing and cosmetics. It is often used to replace other waxes, to add texture, or to help make barrier products, such as lip balms.

Compatible with most waxes and a variety of other ingredients, it is a versatile and valuable substance.

One of the most exciting uses for LUSH is that candelilla wax can substitute beeswax, helping us to make our products conform to vegan requirements.

Candelilla may be found in lip products, moisturizers and massage bars. It can act as an agent preventing moisture loss, as a barrier, to give substance and to enhance the texture of a formula.

Rowena, LUSH founder and product inventor, recently invented a new way of using candelilla wax; she combined it with jojoba oil to create Ultrabalm; a petroleum jelly-like occlusive substance, ideal for use in any circumstance where a barrier cream or a protective, cushioning texture is required.