Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Getting Down to the Roots: Natural vs Synthetic Wax

Day in and day out, we talk to our clients about the several dozen wax brands and hundreds of varieties of wax we offer. Some clients prefer creamy waxes, others prefer honey wax. Some love hard wax, some like soft wax, many use both! 

One of the biggest differentiators between waxes is if they are made with natural or synthetic resins. But what does that mean, exactly?

Resin is the core ingredient in wax. Natural resin is derived from the sap of trees - typically pine or fir trees. Synthetic resin is a man-made ingredient. 

In many cases, we "believe" that natural products equals better. However, this is not necessarily the case when it comes to wax. According to a blog written by Lilliane Caron, the Owner & Director of Caronlab Australia: 
"Unrefined resins can cause allergic reactions and product instability. Tree resins are generally referred to as Colophonium, or Rosin, on the ingredient listing, but unfortunately you are not going to know if it is good quality until you open the jar. Resins are cheaper to buy if they have strong smells or dark colours and the parts of the resin that cause this also generally cause a negative reaction in the client. If the wax has a strong acid/chemical smell or a very dark brown, dirty colour then it will also probably be very cheap to buy and be more likely to cause a negative reaction. If you are trying a new wax, alarm bells should ring if clients are breaking out with itchy, red skin after or during a treatment. Hard waxes will become brittle and snap off which can lead to hair breakage and bruising of the skin if they are made from inferior grade resins."
On the opposite hand, high-quality synthetic resins are more consistent from batch to batch, and the manufacturer is better able to maintain high standards of quality control, in turn allowing the waxer to trust the product to yield the same results, batch after batch.

If you love a pure white wax, you can rest assured that it is a synthetic resin wax that you are using - natural resin will never lend itself to the pure white color. Synthetic resins are very easy to color and fragrance as well, so your wax that smells delicious is also likely a synthetic resin.

Many people get caught up in the connotation surrounding "natural" vs "synthetic" - but in the case of wax, at the very least, do your research! Synthetic resins are much less likely to cause allergic reactions, or skin reactions of any kind, for that matter. 

What is your favorite wax? Tell us in the comments!

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