Emulsifier and hair conditioner
Stearic acid is used in haircare products; it coats the hair shaft, giving it condition and protection without making it dull or heavy. It is also used as an emulsifier in lotions and makeup.
Stearic acid is slightly soluble in water, but it easily dissolves in oil.
Lush products use a vegetable-based stearic acid, which is derived from palm oil. Lush have developed a palm-free soap base to eliminate palm oil from products, unfortunately it is very difficult to source stearic acid that is completely palm free. Currently, Lush are working with suppliers to produce stearic acid that is completely palm free, or to find a good alternative.