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Cosmetics Europe Conference 2022
Monday, December 23, 2019News

AAK's responsible shea

Le karité responsable d'AAK

Sustainability is a growing concern for the cosmetics industry. Among “sustainable” ingredients, there is shea butter, which is harvested in Africa and often chosen to be part of fair trade programmes. Laura Schlebes, product manager at AAK, came to the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit 2019 to highlight the qualities of this ingredient and to advocate for sustainable supply chains like the one her company has put in place.

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This ingredient, referred to as Butyrospermum Parkii butter in the INCI, can be incorporated as a single emollient or combined with other actives derived from oleochemistry or petrochemistry in the composition of many cosmetics: lip and cheek care, eye contours, body products, cosmetics for babies, face and hand care… it is multifunctional indeed.

Today, shea butter is available in a wide range of forms: solid and semi-solid butters, liquid oils, functional esters, bioactives…

Its use offers many advantages:
• It is an excellent skin moisturizer thanks to its film-forming properties
• It is a soothing and anti-aging agent with anti-inflammatory properties
• Its ‘playtime’, its immediate pleasure of application, and its absorption capacity are enhanced by its sensorial qualities

A wild natural tree

Shea is a tree that grows in the wild in sub-Saharan Africa, in what is called the ‘Shea Belt’, which spreads across 19 countries from East to West: Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Congo, Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal.
Shea trees are protected by local legislation, and their first fruits appear after fifteen to twenty years. The almonds in …

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