Candelilla wax is secreted by the leaves of Candelilla or Euphorbia Cerifera, a shrub in northern Mexico. These plants secrete a thin layer of wax to protect against water loss. Its richness in long-chain hydrocarbon compounds and waxy esters make it a very hard and brittle wax, with a fairly high melting point of nearly 70°C. It facilitates the release, drying, and holding of cosmetics and it has excellent film-forming power which protects damaged lips.
This wax is extracted by immersing the leaves in boiling water. The wax that collects on the surface of the water is then heated over low heat to remove the aqueous residue.
Candelilla wax is very pleasant on the skin because it does not stick and mixes very easily with oils. It revitalizes hair, restores shine and support, and facilitates disentangling.
In cosmetics, candelilla wax is mainly used in lip balms, lipsticks, and mascaras as a substitute or combination with carnauba wax or beeswax. But it is also used for the maintenance of floors, wood, cars, or even leather as a polishing agent.