AAK launches anti-ageing shea butter ingredient

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Two new shea butter-based ingredients from AAK open up the formulation possibilities for the popular raw material.

AarhusKarlshamn (AAK) will be releasing the new products at the upcoming in-cosmetics show in Paris in April.

Improved skin feel

The first, Lipex Shea WM, is a shea butter ester. The Sweden-headquartered company has a number of shea butter esters in its portfolio, but certain properties have been improved in Shea WM, technical director for lipids for care, Jari Alander, explained.

“Shea WM has a better skin feel than other esters, leaving it feeling softer and dryer,” ​he told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.

This makes the ingredient a good candidate for facial skin care and high end body care products, as well as colour cosmetics.

Shea WM also has higher levels of shea unsaponifiables left in the product after the esterification process.

One effect of this high level of unsaponifiables is the medium viscosity and relatively low spreading ability of the product, which is good for colour cosmetics applications such as lipsticks where the product needs to stay in place.

Where drag should be avoided, such as in facial skin care products, the ester can be combined with other light esters and silicones to increase spreadability, Alander explained.

Anti-inflammatory properties

The second of the new ingredients, Lipex Shea Tris, is an active designed for use in anti-ageing and facial care formulations.

With Shea Tris, AAK has increased, by molecular distillation, the level of naturally occurring triterpene esters.

The triterpenes are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and usually occur at around 4 per cent in the raw shea butter.

Shea Tris is made up of over 50 per cent triterpenes, which means that the amount of butter needed in the final formulation to get the same anti-inflammatory property is significantly reduced.

In addition, the ingredient is lighter than more traditional shea butter-based products so can be used in formulations such as facial care formulations and even cleansing lotions.

“On the Japanese market there are a number of cleansing products that consist of clear lotions with moisturisers added. This needs ingredients such as Shea Tris, with high activity and good solubility,”​ Alander explained.

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