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potassium stearate formula is an organic compound with the chemical formula C7H14O5. It is a white powder and is manufactured by the saponification of vegetable oils. It is used as a soap and detergent substance. It is also used in cosmetic products as a lubricant and anti-caking agent. It is also used in the manufacture of textile softeners. It is soluble in hot water and alcohol and is slowly soluble in cold water. It is a strong base and is alkaline to litmus and phenolphthalein. It decomposes upon heating, emitting acrid smoke and irritating fumes.
In cosmetic and personal care products, potassium stearate acts as an emulsifier. It keeps oil-based ingredients from separating from water-based ingredients in an emulsion. It also works as a skin-conditioning ingredient by softening the keratin in the epidermis, which can reduce redness and itching from inflammation, acne or insect bites. It is an effective ingredient to use in makeup products, especially eyeshadows and mascaras, and is used as a filler and to keep products moist.
It is also used in pharmaceuticals as a release agent and lubricant. It is insoluble in polar solvents, but it is soluble in aromatic compounds and chlorinated hydrocarbons. It is also used as a drying lubricant for rubbers and plastics, and as flatting and sanding agents in lacquers, coatings and inks.
Ingestion of stearic acid may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, but no acute systemic effects have been reported. It may also be absorbed from the skin. Exposure to high concentrations of stearate salts (including those made from magnesium, sodium and zinc) has been shown to cause respiratory tract irritation in Sprague-Dawley rats.