Featured Ingredient: Bamboo

Aug 1, 2006 | Contact Author | By: Katie Schaefer
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Title: Featured Ingredient: Bamboo
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Although some believe bamboo to be a type of wood, it is actually a type of grass which grows between 10 cm per day and 5 cm per hour. Bamboo has been used historically in Ayurvedic and Tibetan medicines as well as in food. Active Concepts has created cosmetic and personal care applications for bamboo with its ACB Bamboo Bioferment. The ingredient serves as a natural source of silicone, to reportedly improve slip and aesthetics of cosmetic and personal care products.

There are nearly 1,500 species of bamboo worldwide of which Active Concepts chose Arundinaria gigantea, or giant bamboo, for use in its bamboo ingredient. Arundinaria gigantea, according to the company, is a native to the U.S., growing along rivers and streams from New York to Florida and Texas. Giant bamboo is reportedly capable of withstanding freezing conditions of -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Researchers have found that silica provides structural support in bamboo. Silica occurs in the plant in the form of hydrated amorphous silica formed through the polymerization of monosilicic acid, which is absorbed by the roots. The bio-silicate from bamboo has been used in the past to treat arthritis; however, the company has found it very beneficial to certain hair care and skin care applications.

The manufacturing process of ACB Bamboo Bioferment begins by macerating bamboo leaves. The mixture is then fermented with Lactobacillus lactis, which reportedly complexes with the bio-silicate from the plant matrix, leaving a slightly acidic solution containing biochelated silica.

The company recommends the ingredient for formulation in lotions, creams, shampoos, conditioners, leave-in treatments, and makeup to improve epidermal slip and aesthetics. It can also be formulated into hair car products such as shampoo, conditioner, shine serums and hairsprays to create a glossy shine and improve combability.

A panel was used by the company to test the epidermal slip of the bamboo ingredient. The ingredient was compared to a biological control. The company reported that results demonstrated the its bamboo product increased epidermal slip by more than 60 percent when compared to the biological control.