Growth in demand for emu eggs, meat and leathers is now being matched by interest in the oil. Currently the US is leading the way in Emu farming and, although a number of specialist cosmetics products already exist there, the international cosmetics market is now waking up to the idea.
The co-founder of leading emu oil producer, LB Processors , Paul Binford, says that growing interest in natural ingredients for skin care products means that smaller natural cosmetics companies, together with larger international cosmetics companies, have now firmly placed the ingredient on their radar screens.
Binford told CosmeticsDesign.com that following the company's involvement in the Health & Beauty event in New York at the end of September, the company received considerable feedback from key players in the industry, leading him to believe that incorporation in a variety of cosmetics ingredients, namely skin care and anti-inflammatory treatments, is about to kick off.
"The first mass produced product is Blue Emu's muscle and joint cream, which is now being stocked by Wal-Mart," Binford said. "As consumers become more familiar with emu oil as an ingredient, then in turn the variety of products using it is likely to increase."
Based in Tennessee, the company has come to focus its emu farming capabilities solely on processing the birds oil. To this end it buys up the fat from farmers all over North America and then processes it at its facility.
Although the company's cosmetic grade oils are processed according to a rigid certification standard approved by the American Emu Association, it is on the verge of announcing a new processing system which Binford says will improve oil purity even further.
Binford says that interest in emu oil has also grown on the back of scientific studies that have backed up the ingredients efficacy. One independent study was conducted by a group of scientists at the Forsythe Institute in Boston, which gave credence to claims about its anti-inflammatory properties.
Although emu oil is commonly sold in its natural form in the US, LB Processors has expanded its own range of emu oil-based cosmetic products to include, hair care, soaps, lip balms, hand and body lotions, moisturizers and under-eye cream, suggesting that the scope for the ingredient is wide.
Binford says that because of its strong trans dermal characteristics, it can be used in a variety of cosmetic and personal care applications, where both its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties make it a highly functional and useful ingredient.
Having so many attributes, it is a wonder that the use of emu oil in cosmetic products has been largely confined to the North American market, but Binford believes this too is set to change.
"We are now starting to export our emu oil to both South Africa and the UK, where interests is steadily growing. These are two important markets with regards the international market place and should help to spark broader interest."