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Bayberry wax – Myrica fruit wax – Myrtle wax

Nov 2, 2022 | Ingredients

If you are into anhydrous formulations, you should definitely check this wax. Bayberry wax is soo amazing! Let’s get to know it better.

bayBERRY WAX – myrica fruit WAX – myrtle WAX

1. WHAT IS BAYBERRY WAX / MYRICA FRUIT WAX / MYRTLE WAX?

Bayberry wax (also known as Myrica fruit wax / Laurel wax or Myrtle wax) is obtained from fruits of Myrica Pubescens tree that is native to Latin America. The wax is obtained from the outer layer of grey-green berries. 

The wax that covers the berries protects them from moisture loss and environmental stress. These berries are harvested sustainably and monitored by the Union for Ethical Bio Trade. This ensures biodiversity in Columbia, fair sharing of benefits, regulatory compliance and social as well as environmental responsibility.

The main feature of this wax is that it has a very low melting point (45-55°C / 113-131°F) compared to other waxes. The other wax that also has low melting point is berry wax. You can read about berry wax here:

Bayberry-wax-pellets
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2. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF BAYBERRY WAX / MYRICA FRUIT WAX / MYRTLE WAX

Myrica fruit wax has a very unique chemical composition – according to the supplier it does not have any molecules with double bonds (which are naturally not stable over time). It is made of saturated long chain fatty acids which are beneficial for skin and hair.

According to this research paper, bayberry wax primarily consists of 85% palmitate, 14% myristate and 1% stearate.

This wax has a very low iodine value (it shows the resistance to oxidation) which means it is a very stable ingredient and has a very low chance of going rancid.

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Bayberry wax properties

INCI Myrica Cerifera Fruit Wax
Function Emollient, reduces stickiness of balms
Usage rate Typically 1-50%, but it is safe to use up to 100%.
Origin Obtained from berries of Myrica pubescens tree
Appearance Pale yellow pellets. If you get refined version then pellets will be white.
Absorption rate Average to fast, has a good spreadability
Melting temperature 45-55°C (113-131°F)
Solubility Oil
Skin type All skin types
Scent Faint vegetable
Refined or unrefined? The unrefined version is green in color and has a very distinctive forest scent. I personally only have refined version and it has a faint vegetable scent.
Saponification index/heating 210-240
How to work with it? Add to the oil phase and heat it until molten.
Alternatives Berry wax (INCI: Rhus verniciflua wax / Rhus succedanea wax

3. Where and why we use bayberry wax in cosmetic formulations?

This wax can be used in a variety of formulations depending on what kind of benefits you want your formulation to have. For example, adding 2-3% of this wax to a body lotion will result in a silkier lotion with a rich skin feel.

Due to low melting point bayberry wax has a very good spreadability which can be used in making salves, massage balms, body butters.

It is also an excellent ingredient to make hair styling products. Myrica fruit wax gives adhesive properties and improves hair combing.

However this wax tends to crystallize when used with clays, effect pigments and dyes. So, it should not be used when preparing color cosmetics. 

Bayberry-wax-textures

4. TESTING BAYBERRY WAX / MYRICA FRUIT WAX / MYRTLE WAX

To see how this wax behaves in anhydrous formulations, I have made several test batches with macadamia nut oil. The test batches had 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% bayberry wax (the rest of the formula was macadamia nut oil). 

Bayberry wax was combined with macadamia nut oil, heated until everything has melted. The beakers were taken out of the water bath and chilled in the fridge until they started to solidify (5-60 min).

After that I have brought them to the room and let them reach room temperature (now it is 18°C / 64.4°F).

Bayberry-wax-5%

Test with 5% bayberry wax

Took a longer time to solidify as it has a low amount of the wax. The test batch looks like a thick pourable gel. The gel is not transparent and very soft, kind of liquidy.

After dabbing with a finger it does form some nice peaks that will go away after several seconds. In a way the gel looks a bit grainy though it is not grainy at all. After stirring with a small spatula it looks and feel like a semi-thick gel.

Very good spreading abilities, feels a bit of powdery, dry afterwards. No sticky feeling.

Bayberry-wax-10%

test with 10% bayberry wax

Looks semi firm. It is definitely harder when compared to 5% myrica wax mixture, but still very soft.

Forms peaks after dabbing with the fingers.

After some stirring with spatula it looks and feels more like a gel.

A thicker gel that is not pourable. It is also not transparent. Very good spreading abilities, no tacky or greasy feeling.

Bayberry-wax-15%

TEST with 15% bayBERRY WAX

Looks firm and it is a lot harder to push with a finger. Consistency is similar to a very soft butter.

After some stirring looks like a thick gel. After sitting it becomes harder, but keeps the same texture. It would be interesting to make a body butter with this ratio.

Still good spreading ability, but some tackiness starts to feel.

Bayberry-wax-20%

TEST with 20% BAYBERRY WAX

It is a firm mixture, feels like a soft balm. Still softer than mango butter, similar to kpangnan butter.

Spreading could be better, but still not greasy, a bit of tack. After stirring looks like a whipped body butter.

When left to sit for several days, it hardens a bit.

Bayberry-wax-25%

TEST with 25% bayBERRY WAX

Hard and very form compared to the others, but softer than mango butter.

Spreading ability is average, not greasy, tackiness is present.

After stirring forms a nice buttery consistency and stays like that. Firms after a day or two.

5. WHAT CAN YOU MAKE WITH BAYBERRY WAX?

  • Lip balms
  • Oleogels
  • Balms and other anhydrous formulations
  • Hair styling products
  • Include it in O/W or W/O emulsions
  • Candles
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6. WHERE TO BUY BAYBERRY WAX?

This is a list where you could get this wax. Please don’t be discouraged if these suppliers are not convenient to you. There could be more of the suppliers selling myrica fruit wax, so do your own research. 

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