How to add Carnauba wax to a moustache wax recipe.

Carnauba Wax

How to Use Carnauba Wax in Moustache Wax and Beard Pomades

There has been a lot of interest in “A Solid Mustache wax recipe”, and I hope many of you have made your own Mustache wax tailored to your own needs. Over the past year there have been questions about adding Carnauba wax to Mustache wax recipes and beard pomades. Rather than redo “A Solid Mustache Wax Recipe and “An Easy 2 Part Mustache Wax Recipe”, I have decided to post a separate  “How to” page, so Carnauba wax can be properly added to past and future recipes, whether my own, or other recipes you might find online and want to adapt to your own needs.    This is it.

Carnauba Palm Copernicia Prunifera-Brazil
Carnauba Palm Copernicia Prunifera-Brazil
Carnauba Wax
Carnauba Wax

Carnauba Wax is a natural product that is found in the form of flakes on the fronds of the Carnauba Palm, Copernica Prunifera. For detailed information on the history and uses of Carnauba wax please refer to my post, Mustache Wax Recipe, Twist and Twirl” and

Carnauba wax is considered the hardest natural wax available.

It lends extra hold, and tenacity to a mustache wax. It can be added in proportions of up to 10%-15% of the volume of your grooming product.  More than that, I find, can make a mustache wax too hard to apply. I use 5% Carnauba with great success in my mustache wax blend.  20% is really pushing it unless you are using your wax in very hot and humid conditions with temperatures regularly above 35 degrees Celsius.

Keep in mind that Carnauba is brittle and can get powdery in larger proportions so it is not an ideal base for a moustache wax. I find beeswax has excellent physical properties for a base, and Carnauba is best in small quantities as a support in the formula.

Brittle, very thin hard shell of Carnauba wax from inside of glass jar
Brittle, very thin hard shell of Carnauba wax from inside of glass jar

Some very important points to keep in mind when using Carnauba wax in a mustache wax recipe.

Carnauba wax has a high melting point compared to other waxes, much higher than beeswax. For this reason:

1- ALWAYS use a water-bath, and heat up all your waxes and oils to the same temperature before mixing them. This is ESPECIALLY important when incorporating Carnauba wax in your recipe.

Water-Bath, Baine Marie, Double Boiler
Water-Bath, Baine Marie, Double Boiler with an extra jar for Carnauba wax, (on left).

Often, if the Carnauba wax is not at the same temperature of the wax mixture it is added to, it will form small lumps or grains. It does not matter how fine these grains are, if they are present it means your Carnauba wax is suspended in a matrix of softer waxes. This also means it has not “Married” your wax, that it is still separate, and the consistency of your wax has not been changed by the Carnauba, no matter how fine the Carnauba granules may seem. You have simply given the Carnauba wax something to float in. In this scenario, you are not only left with the same consistency in the wax you started with, but you have granulation that will likely not melt completely between your fingers and leave you with little granules in your mustache. Not very attractive. I don’t think a hair dryer will be of much help either at this point. SO,,

-ALWAYS use a water bath and heat your materials to the same temperature before mixing them!

-2- NEVER use a microwave to heat up your ingredients prior to mixing. Some oils and waxes will combust, burst into flame with no warning signs such as smoking. A microwave removes you from the process, does not give you enough control, and at its best, is only good for very carefully warming glass jars to remove residual waxes prior to cleaning. If possible I turn them upside down on a plate, often adding a layer of paper towel to absorb the liquid waxes, set the microwave on half power, and in short bursts take it up to the point of waxes melting. While the glass is still warm, (Not hot!), I will use olive oil, dish soap and warm water to bring them back to a clean and useable state. DO NOT use a microwave instead of a double boiler to make your products! Besides safety issues, it is very difficult to make a high quality product with a microwave.

Mustache Wax domes, cast in ice cube tray
Mustache Wax domes, cast in ice cube tray

SO that’s it I think……  Carnauba wax can easily add versatility and lend its unique characteristics to your grooming waxes. Remember, if for any reason you are not happy with your end product, don’t panic. You can always set it aside, and at a later date, after doing more research, meditating, or taking a deep breath, return it to the water bath and make adjustments to its texture, body or fragrance.

So, Have fun and  enjoy the gender you were given this time round.                                                                                            And ALWAYS remember to take notes! Your future self will thank you.

I am happy to answer questions, either here in the comments section, or by email at dnriegler@gmail.com.

Dan

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