Worldwide manufacturers harness powers of bisabolol

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Colour cosmetics, Cosmetics, Symrise

The powers of plant oils are an increasingly important part of the
cosmetic and personal care industry, with an influx of
manufacturers incorporating bisabolol into product ranges launched
over the past few months.

According to Mintel data over 187 products have been launched worldwide containing the ingredient - with its presence in the cosmetic industry potentially under threat due to long, costly cultivation periods and the threat to its natural habitat in Brazil. The colour cosmetics industry has seen the most market activity with the bisabolol ingredient, with large manufacturers and smaller companies both harnessing the soothing and anti-irritant effect of the ingredient, which is extracted from the candeia plant. Leading cosmetic giants Revlon has used the ingredient in a facial colour cosmetics range, SoftFlex MakeUp Bonus, launched last month in the US. The range includes a mousse foundation and a pressed powder that includes SPF sun protection and is targeted at dry skin. Likewise, naturals and organic cosmetic manufacturer Bare Escentuals launched a facial range, Get Started Kit, in France last month made up off a four-step facial routine comprising of a revitaliser, foundation, bronzer and a powder - all making use of the bisabolol extract. German company, Rossmann has launched an anti-bacterial make up range last month that incorporates the soothing, healing qualities of the bisabolol extract. In the eye colour cosmetics market, direct selling agents Avon is leading the way with product innovations containing bisabolol - a perfect ingredient for the sensitive skin that surrounds the eye. Launching in the US, France and the UK, the company is going global with its Transforming Liquid Eye Liner range, showcasing the soothing effects of the plant extracts to a broad target audience. It is this demand for the ingredient that has caused Symrise, one of the world's leading suppliers of the plant oil extract, to up its campaign to protect the natural environment of the candeia plant, from which the oil is derived. The German ingredients provider is now furthering its investments to safeguard the Brazilian rainforest. Efforts include expansion into new partnerships with local businesses and developing its established networks with certified partners. In addition, Brazilian partner firms working with Symrise have provided the support and financing for a project being conducted by the Universidade Federal de Lavras, which is aimed at exploring preconditions for cultivating native candeia. The cost of cultivating the crop is causing concern. Due to the amount of bisabolol in the wood of the candeia plant being so low, it is not cost-effective to extract the oil until the plant is twelve to fifteen years old. Therefore, maintaining the reserves is significantly more expensive, resulting in higher price differences for the bisabolol extract. However, with phytochemicals being in such demand because of the mega trend towards natural and organics ingredients, every effort is being made by Symrise and local businesses to ensure the continued safety of the candeia crop to protect bisabolol. Symrise has also highlighted that it will continue with its efforts to synthesise highly pure alpha bisabolol, another way to protect the natural resources asides from selecting natural sources of sustainable alpha bisabolol.

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