We’re constantly reminded to read the ingredient labels of everything we use, from food to skincare products. However, more than simply reading is needed; you should also understand what those terms mean. For instance, what are emulsifiers? Why do we need them? Are they suitable for us? Well, that’s what we’re going to investigate today!

Pro Tip : Try Nourishing Tinted 100% Natural Lip Balm. Enriched with Vitamin E and Raspberry, it helps make lips soft and supple through intense nourishment.

What Are Emulsifiers?

Simply speaking, an emulsifier is a naturally-occurring or artificially-made substance that combines unlike ingredients and holds them together. It is mainly used to hold things like oil and water together, which would separate as two layers if combined without an emulsifier.

Emulsifier molecules have a water-soluble end and an oil-soluble end, which enables oil and water molecules to stay combined permanently. Such a mix is called an emulsion, and a natural example is cow’s milk which contains fats, water, and a natural emulsifier that makes it a homogenous liquid. Besides food products, emulsifiers also play an important role in skincare.

Benefits of Emulsifiers in Skin Care

Some benefits of an emulsifier in skin care include:

1. Enables a combination of unlike ingredients

The essential function of an emulsifier is to help unlike ingredients stay together without splitting. This enables companies to combine various valuable ingredients so that we can get the best of everything in a single product. Emulsifiers also help us have sensitive botanical extracts in all our skincare products.

2. Improves Product Absorption

When the ingredients are bound together well in a skincare product, they are more readily absorbed into the skin. This is why emulsifiers improve product absorption, especially when they contain valuable active ingredients.

3. Allows Deep Penetration of Nutrients

It’s not just easy absorption of the product; emulsifiers also help deeper penetration of nutrients like vitamins and antioxidants. The deeper the penetration, the better the effect on your overall skin health.

4. Enables Easier Use of Products

If products didn’t use emulsifiers, they’d appear as several different layers and have to be shaken and stirred before every use. Emulsifiers don’t just make the product look like a single homogenous solution – they also make them easier to use. Using an emulsifier for oily skin products also makes washing off the oil and greasiness easier.

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Best Natural Emulsifiers for Skin Care

Skincare does not just comprise face washes and face masks, there is a lot more that goes into a proper skincare regimen. One also needs moisturizing products that help drive adequate water content for one’s skin. Here are some of the best-known and most beneficial natural emulsifiers for skin care:


Beeswax is made from honeycomb and is one of the common emulsifiers in skin care since it provides a natural protective barrier. It is also highly moisturizing with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Beeswax is also incredibly versatile and can be used in many products, like the Mamaearth Vitamin C Facial Kit and lip balm beetroot & beeswax. This is a 6-step kit that has skin-friendly ingredients like Vitamin C and Turmeric and goes well with the Mamaearth Skin Illuminate Face Serum.

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Note: If you apply makeup set more often, please also add any of our face toners for a better skincare expereince.

Candelilla Wax

Another natural emulsifier is candelilla wax, considered a vegan replacement for beeswax. It is made from the candelilla plant, is fast-absorbing, and has a thick texture that makes it perfect for lip balms, such as the Mamaearth Shea Butter Lip Balm, which contains shea butter and Vitamin E for soft lips. 

Carnauba Wax

Another good emulsifier for sensitive skin is carnauba wax, made from the carnauba palm found in Brazil. It is a hard wax with a natural gloss, so it is popular in lip products. It is also hypoallergenic, which is why it has been used in the Mamaearth Tinted Lip Balm, enriched with cherries and coconut oil. It is the best emulsifier for skin that’s usually exposed to the sun and air, like those on the lips.

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Rice Bran Wax

Rice bran is a popular ingredient in many beauty products, as it moisturizes skin, reduces fine lines, and improves skin tone. You can get similar benefits by using the Mamaearth Rice Oil-Free Face Moisturizer, which contains rice water and niacinamide, helping you get that coveted glass skin.


Lecithin is a naturally occurring emulsifier and a natural preservative common in skincare products. It is an excellent ingredient used in good-quality face moisturizers to reduce dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. These factors make it the perfect pick for the Mamaearth Retinol Face Serum, enriched with Retinol and Bakuchi.

Note: This Retinol Serum works best after you have towel-dried your face after cleansing it with a toxin-free face scrub.

Cetearyl Alcohol

This plant-based emulsifier is accepted by Ecocert, derived from Wheat Straw and Rapeseed. This is used for thick, non-greasy creams like the Mamaearth CoCo Nourishing Cold Cream. 

It also helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, which is why it is used in anti-aging products like the Mamaearth Bye Bye Dark Circles Eye Cream, which has the added benefits of Cucumber and Peptides. It may also be found in some good-quality face gels

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Glyceryl Stearate

Glyceryl Stearate is derived from coconut and palm kernels and is an excellent choice for smooth creams of different thicknesses. It is a good emulsifier for oily skin as it has a non-greasy texture. They’re perfect in products for oily skin like the Ubtan Face Wash and Ultra-Light Indian Sunscreen, which are available in the Mamaearth Anti Tan Combo. 

You can also find it in the Mamaearth Summer Glow BFF’s Combo, which contains the Skin Illuminate Sunscreen Gel and Skin Illuminate Face Serum

Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate

Also known as Olivum 1000, this emulsifier is derived from olives and is a great hypoallergenic moisturizer. It gives skincare products a good spreadability, making it an excellent option for face creams like the Mamaearth Ubtan Nourishing Cold Cream, which uses traditional ingredients like turmeric and saffron for moisturization and a golden glow. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a good emulsifier for the skin?

    The best emulsifier for skin is naturally occurring or naturally derived and is ideal for the application you require. 

  2. Are emulsifiers safe for the skin?

    As long as you stick to tested and naturally derived emulsifiers, they are safe for the skin and the face. 

  3. What is a natural emulsifier in skincare?

    Natural emulsifiers are derived from the fats and oils of plants like nuts, palms, leaves, and berries rather than manufactured using chemical processes in a lab. They are generally better suited for people with sensitive skin.

  4. Is aloe vera gel an emulsifier?

    While aloe vera gel is a stable moisturizing product, it cannot be considered an emulsifier for other skincare products.

  5. Is glycerine an emulsifier?

    Yes, additionally, glycerine is both a humectant and a mild emulsifier. 

  6. Are emulsifiers the same as surfactants?

    Emulsifiers and surfactants are the same, but if you look deeper, you'll notice some differences.

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