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Zinc Stearate in Eye Shadows Prevents Creasing, Caking, and Flaking

Updated on April 20, 2018
example of eye shadow
example of eye shadow | Source
example of zinc stearate
example of zinc stearate


Eye shadows which contain the ingredient of zinc stearate do not crease, cake, or flake off. In addition, zinc stearate enhances the color shade and texture of the eye shadow being applied.

Definition: What is zinc stearate?

Zinc stearate is a white, soft, fine, water-insoluble (does not dissolve with moisture) powder. It is a zinc salt obtained by combining zinc oxide (zinc and oxygen) and stearic acid (a naturally occurring and mild fatty acid or fat). Zinc oxide is the combination of one atom of oxygen per one atom of zinc. Fatty acids in cosmetics, such as stearic acid, are usually extracted from the fats of plants rather than animals. Zinc stearate is a nonirritating substance that is approved by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and, due to its anti-creasing, anti-caking, and anti-flaking benefits, is an important ingredient in eye shadows.

History: What is the origin of zinc stearate?

Zinc stearate is the combination of zinc oxide and stearic acid. Stearic acid was used together with palmitic acid by the ancient Egyptians to make a hair gel to hold elaborate hairstyles in place. Plants and seeds high in stearic acid were also used for medicinal purposes. Zinc has been used for centuries in ointments to treat eye inflammations and heal wounds. The first report of zinc oxide being produced was by Marco Polo (1254-1324) who discovered this on his travels through Persia. Medicinal zinc lotions have been sold in pharmacies since the 1600s. Today, zinc stearate is widely used in cosmetics as well as medicine.

Body Elements: What effect does zinc stearate have on the eyelids?

Creasing, caking, and flaking of eye shadow occurs due to moisture on the eyelids. Moisture can be the result of sweating, excretion of oils by the glands found along the lash lines, or use of moisturizers on the eyelids. Zinc stearate is a moisture repellent and an emulsifier. It is a fine powder that coats every particle of the eye shadow makeup and absorbs any excess moisture preventing the eye shadow from dissolving in some areas (water repellant) and separating in others (emulsifier) leaving deposits of compacted eye shadow that form creases, cakes, or flakes.

  • What is caking? Caking occurs when makeup deposits form on the skin’s surface due to excess moisture.
  • What is creasing? Creasing occurs when makeup lines form in the folds or wrinkles of the skin due to excess moisture.
  • What is flaking? Flaking occurs when makeup deposits (cakes) flake off due to excess moisture on the skin.

Functions: How does zinc stearate improve eye makeup?

Zinc stearate is an ideal ingredient to be used in cosmetics. It can be used as a pigment; its white in color and can add brightness to a shadow. It is a thickener and a slip agent (lubricant) which creates a creamy, smooth, interwoven texture of color on the surface of the eyelids. It is also an adhesive that causes the eye shadow to adhere well (stick) to the eyelids.

Audience: Who would benefit from an eye shadow containing zinc stearate?

Eye shadows containing zinc stearate are appropriate for anyone as it prevents creasing, caking, and flaking. However, it is a must have for anyone who suffers from face sweating or excess secretion of oils on the eyelids throughout the course of the day or evening.

Importance: Why is zinc stearate significant?

Zinc stearate keeps eye shadow vibrant, smooth, texturized, and beautiful on the eyelids. Zinc stearate is deemed safe for use in cosmetics.


Zinc stearate is an anti-creasing, anti-caking, anti-flaking ingredient found in quality eye shadows. It is a pigment as well as an adhesive, thickener, emulsifier, and anti-slip agent. Beautiful eye looks can be obtained and maintained throughout the day or evening with the use of an eye shadow containing the zinc stearate ingredient.

Eyeshadow Poll

Do you have problems with creasing, caking, and flaking with your current eye shadow(s)?

See results

Zinc Stearate Poll

Would you shop for an eye shadow specifically containing zinc stearate?

See results

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