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Synergies could be the answer to incorporating natural ingredients effectively

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 27-Nov-2012
Last updated on 03-May-2013 at 10:12 GMT

At this moment in time, with questions over the efficacy of natural ingredients versus synthetic ones, synergies could provide the answer according to France-based Seppic.

The demand for natural products keeps growing, but it is still somewhat of a niche area as there are still questions over the efficacy of natural ingredients when compared to synthetic ones.

“Being green is very important, but the product has to be easy to formulate and provide a good performance,” says Florence Rodenas, product manager at Seppic.

“It is also a big challenge for formulators to make natural products that are effective and have a good on-skin feel,” she tells

Natural trend

With this in mind, Seppic has developed a range of polymers for cosmetics use; the most recent being its Solagum Tara polymer.

The natural gum is a polysaccharide derived from Tara seeds and is designed to thicken and stabilise emulsions and cream gels, as well as act as a texturizing agent.

“With regards to thickening properties, natural polymers can compare to synthetic ones,” continues Rodenas.

“But synthetic polymers may stabilize oils better so a synergy is sometimes best so you can reach an effective balance.”

Natural-synthetic synergy

Rodenas explains that this can be the best way to deal with the questions of efficacy surrounding natural ingredients.

“If you’re not solely focused on the eco-labels, it can be very interesting to provide a synergy as it takes the best from both worlds,” she adds.

In tests the specialty ingredients supplier used the new plant polymer to thicken in synergy with its synthetic SepiMax Zen product in a cream gel, to improve and smooth the product’s texture.


The Solagum Tara polymer is certified natural by Ecocert and Cosmos, and was developed initially with skin care products initially, before it was tested in wash-off applications.

It comes as a powder that hydrates in water, and can be added to the oily or aqueous phase in either hot or cold conditions; although the hot process improves its stabilising effect. 

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