Cosmetic products composed of natural ingredients have been gaining popularity for some time. In relation, commercial body and dusting powders containing natural starches, e.g., corn, potato, rice and tapioca, have been launched, as several patents reveal.1, 2 Another natural ingredient for application in powder products can be found in the wetland forests of southern Thailand, where sago palms (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) are plentiful.
Sago palms can be harvested at anywhere from 7 to 15 years’ maturity prior to their flowering, at which point they produce fruit and perish. When harvested, their piths are filled with a fine, white, powdery starch that is nearly pure carbohydrate.3,4 This sago starch can be used as the main component in perfumed and cooling body power formulations, as will be shown here. Additional benefits of sago starch are its biodegradable properties, which reduce respiratory risk potential from accidental inhalation. Also, the use of sago starch can further support local wetland forest communities, thus promoting sustainability of this natural resource.