Emulsifying wax has an organic source, but it’s treated so it can be used in cosmetics and moisturizers. The base is extracted from fatty acids and plant oils, creating what is sometimes called vegetable wax. This wax is then mixed with a detergent (a cleanser that dissolves in water), such as sodium dodecyl sulfate, and it becomes an emulsifier. Because emulsifying wax is essentially the glue that holds all those important cleansing oils together with water, your facial moisturizer won’t last too long without it. If left too long on the shelf, or if you use it for a longer period than the manufacturer expected, the oils and water will separate. Chances are, one day you’ll tip the bottle over your hand and get a stream of oil before a gloop of water and other ingredients fall out.