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Acacia Gum

Acacia gum, also known as gum arabic, is a natural gum made from the sap of acacia trees. It has been used for centuries in food products and more recently in cosmetics.

What Is Acacia Gum?

Acacia gum is a complex mixture of sugars and fibres that forms a sticky, glue-like substance which oozes from cuts and cracks in acacia trees. The Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal trees native to sub-Saharan Africa are the primary sources of acacia gum used commercially.

Gum arabic, as it is also known, has excellent emulsification properties making it a popular additive in food and cosmetics. It can be used to stabilise emulsions like essential oils in water.

Is Acacia Gum Safe?

Acacia gum has been evaluated for safety and approved for use in food and cosmetics in Australia, the United States and Europe. It is generally recognised as safe (GRAS status) by food regulatory agencies.

There are no known health concerns with using cosmetics containing acacia gum when formulated and used appropriately. It is non-toxic. As with any cosmetic ingredient, discontinuing use if any irritation occurs is recommended.

Why Is Acacia Gum Used In Cosmetics?

Acacia gum is a multifunctional cosmetic ingredient used primarily as an emulsion stabiliser. Key benefits in cosmetics formulations include:

  • Stabilises essential oils in water
  • Encourages ingredients to mix rather than separate
  • Acts as a binder and thickening agent
  • Helps form protective films on skin

Its adhesive properties provide moisturisation, smooth application and set long-lasting qualities to formulas ranging from hydrating serums to rich body butters.

Is Acacia Gum Safe For All Skin Types?

The non-allergenic properties of acacia gum make it generally safe for all skin types. As with trying any new cosmetic, patch testing on a small area of skin is advised to check for allergic reaction before wider use.

It is non-comedogenic meaning it does not clog pores so suitable for acne-prone skin. The soothing, anti-inflammatory effect can actually improve some inflammatory skin conditions.

People with unusually sensitive skin should monitor use. Discontinue if any irritation occurs.

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