Diving In – The Ingredients And The Paraffin
I received a question in one of my webinars asking me, “Isn’t paraffin wax a carcinogenic product?”
I didn’t want to just do a simple Instagram post addressing the question. Instead, I decided to do some digging around to learn more about paraffin and once again, I’ve done all the homework so you guys don’t have to so let’s get into Part 2 of The Ingredients – The Paraffin.
Question: “Is paraffin wax carcinogenic/toxic?”
Let’s back it up a little first – whenever we hear something is a “petroleum by-product” or “by-product of the fuel industry,” sirens go off in our heads that this sounds toxic. We put it on the “naughty list” of ingredients to avoid since some research suggests that if these particles were inhaled, they can be carcinogenic and cause potentially harmful effects to humans. Does it really though?
We need to understand that paraffin wax comes in many forms. The culprit that you want to stay away from are paraffin wax-based candles since it is mainly a raw hydrocarbon. A 2009 study that was conducted by researchers from South Carolina State University found that paraffin wax candles emitted unwanted chemicals due to it being a petroleum-based by-product. They would emit alkenes and toluene. Wait, hold up, what the heck are alkenes and toluene? These are aromatic hydrocarbons, which is why inhaling it is harmful. Think of paint thinners and how painters usually need to wear masks for protection so they aren’t breathing in the fumes.
These can be harmful to humans and contribute to the development of health risks such as cancer, allergies and even asthma. By now, you must be thinking that I have stated a lot of bad things about paraffin. So, why does Caronlab waxes have paraffin as an ingredient and what is done to assure it is safe?
Cosmeceutical Grade Paraffin Wax
There is nothing to worry about because all of those concerns listed above do not apply to paraffin waxes that you can find in cosmetic products and in our Caronlab waxes. The bad raw hydrocarbon has been processed to a “cosmetic-grade level,” meaning the risk for inhalation of the paraffin wax from beauty products are now minimal and there really is nothing to worry about anymore.
What I love about Caronlab is that it is a company that is 100% transparent. I have never come across a wax brand that would openly display online their Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for every single one of their products. I went into every single one of our waxes to see which ones contain paraffin wax. All our synthetic resin-based waxes contain cosmetic grade paraffin wax. By now you must be thinking, “alright Chanel, then why does Caronlab waxes have paraffin wax in their formula and what purpose does it serve?”
My initial thought as to why paraffin is used in our waxes was because I was simply thinking about paraffin wax treatments that you can get a nail salon. In fact, I offer paraffin hand and foot treatments in my own space since it has many hydrating benefits and the heat really helps to soothe those with tired hands and/or those with arthritis. I thought, maybe it is used as a form of protection for the skin because our waxes do not require any pre-oil prior to performing a waxing service.
I sent Australia an email asking for some clarification and this is what I found out from their chemist: Paraffin can be used as a form of preservative which is why wax does not have an expiration date and a hydrogenating agent meaning it helps the wax to solidify and have some firmness. I went into our MSDS sheets. I found that, except for one, all of Caronlab waxes contained less than 10% paraffin. Our Braziliant 2 in 1 Film Wax has more than 10% but for no particular reason other than the paraffin’s compatibility with certain other constituents of the product.
There you have it in regard to paraffin. In summary, there is absolutely nothing to fear when it comes to paraffin wax as long as it has been processed to a cosmeceutical grade. Caronlab believes in a holistic concept and approach in the beauty industry that they call “Caronlab Cares.” Every detail, every ingredient, every product that Caronlab carries is meant to serve a specific purpose while taking the smallest details into consideration. We want safe options for everyone while trying to reduce our carbon footprint at the same time. Just knowing this gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling for Caronlab!