Like calcium stearates, magnesium stearates are almost insoluble in normal solvents. They are able to hold considerable quantities of water and take on a creamy consistency. Magnesium stearates are therefore used to improve the retention of creams and semi-rigid wax articles as well as to produce waxes. Since they are recognized as physiologically safe, they are used by the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry. Magnesium stearates improve the free-flowing properties and are added as anti-caking agents to powders. One of the principle uses of magnesium stearate is as a tablet excipient in pharmaceutical dosage forms. Thermostable magnesium stearates are used as lubricants and release agents for the processing of thermoplastics and thermosets.