Stearic Acid is a fatty acid used to thicken and stabilize formulations. When used in Lotions and Creams it is used as a co-emulsifier and stabilizer. Stearic is also used in solid shampoo bars and stick products to give hardness.
Stearic acid is used to form a stable base for deodorants, lotions, and creams. It helps to bind and thicken the products so they adhere smoothly to the skin and have a longer shelf life. The fact that the melting point of this acid is well above human body temperature tends to prevent cosmetics from running and streaking when applied for extended periods.
Stearic acid is also commonly used in the production of soap and candles as a hardening agent. It will also give shampoos a pearly color and consistency.
Usage can be from 1% to 25% typically 3% is a good place to start in an emulsion
.5% to 5% in soap