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A Natural Way To Keep Your Cool!

October 4, 2009

Global ingredient manufacturer Symrise have launched a new skin cooling ingredient that has been certified as “natural” by Ecocert – one of the big guns in natural certification.   As it is already possible to get a cooling effect naturally (how’s  alcohol, peppermint or Menthol for starters) this may not sound like a big deal but it does have some benefits!

Menthol is used in many cosmetic products and can either be sourced from peppermint oils via distillation or can be made synthetically.  This is an excellent cooling active and is approved for use in a wide range of formulations BUT it can be irritating to the skin as all of the stuff that makes peppermint pepperminty is locked away in this one chemical. So, it makes sense that once concentrated it packs a massive punch.  Formulating wise menthol gives a few issues of its own. It doesn’t melt until it gets to around 36c and below that it is a white crystalline solid that is a pain to work with.  It is also quite a volatile substance which means that get too much of it in a product and it could blow! User friendliness = 2/10.

Peppermint Oil is great as it is natural and contains just the right blend of ingredients to give the cooling, antibacterial and mood enhancing properties. However, peppermint smells and that can cause a problem. Not everyone wants to go around all day smelling minty fresh and for the formulator that peppermint smell is pretty hard to disguise.  Flexibility = 3/10.

So what about this new stuff?  The new product from Symrise is called Frescolat ML Natural, chemically it is Menthyl Lactate – this is what you would see on the label.  This ingredient promises to cool without the downsides of the above ingredients. As the lactate part of the name suggests this chemical is a product of bioengineering with the lactic bit coming from milk.  So even though this ingredient needs a little chemical mastery it is pretty natural (as per Ecocert definition).

I am keen to try out this new ingredient in a couple of products as  I am often looking for cooling effects without the smell / alcohol so this may be good.  Thinking of some foot refreshing balm, just in time for summer (in Australia). What do you think?

Anyway, this sounds like a winner to me and is another example of how food ingredients are constantly crossing over into the cosmetic sphere.  I’ll get onto the guys at this weeks expo to get me a sample and will share my recipes with you later!

May your day’s be minty and bright.

Goodnight 🙂

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