ALL ABOUT ARROWROOT POWDER: AN ALL-NATURAL TALC SUBSTITUTE
- Arrowroot Powder is an all-natural silky white powder produced by grinding up the dried rhizomes of the tropical Arrowroot plant.
- The topical application of cosmetic moisturizers, including creams and lotions, can help successfully alleviate dry hand symptoms.
- This nourishing plant-based raw material has a rich history of being used in traditional medicine applications due to the reputed ability to detoxify and heal wounds, calm skin irritations, promote healthy digestion, and support immunity.
- In cosmetics, Arrowroot Powder is featured widely in natural makeup, skincare, and personal hygiene products, including body powders, deodorants, creams and lotions, face masks, beauty butters, and bath products.
- Arrowroot Powder easily replaces talc or cornstarch in cosmetic recipes and formulations. It is also quite versatile, and can act as a thickener, opacifier, texture enhancer, binding agent, mattifier, moisture absorber, and color modifier.
WHAT IS ARROWROOT POWDER?
Arrowroot Powder, sometimes referred to as 'Arrowroot Starch', is a fine, white, odorless powder derived from the fleshy tubers of the Arrowroot plant. This tropical perennial plant (also known as Maranta, West Indian Arrowroot, Bermuda Arrowroot, or simply 'The Obedience Plant') is native to South America and grows approximately 1-6 feet in height, displaying a clump of long, green, veiny leaves and delicate white flowers from above the ground while extending its numerous tubers underneath. In terms of size and shape, these tubers bear resemblance to the Turmeric root and are quite starchy and nourishing. Once harvested, they are cleaned, dried, and ground into a powder to make a soft, pale, versatile, plant-based powder.
The term 'Arrowroot' is believed to originate from its historical use as an antidote for arrow wounds by the native Arawak Indians of South America and the Caribbean. Indeed, Arrowroot Powder has a rich history of being incorporated in many traditional herbal remedies in countries such as India for many years. Some of the complementary medicinal uses of this starchy powder include improving digestion and bowel health, healing wounds, rashes, and skin sores, as well as supporting a healthy metabolism and weight management. As a delicate yet nutrient-dense food ingredient that is easy on the stomach, it continues to be used to make baby food as well as feed those who are ill or hospitalized. In many cultures, Arrowroot is still featured in food recipes for sauces, jellies, soups, puddings, biscuits, and baked sweets.
In the world of cosmetics and skincare, Arrowroot Powder has earned a reputation as an elegant, lightweight, all-natural absorbent powder with added skin-nourishing and anti-irritant properties. It is frequently used in natural, vegan, and organic products, where it can contribute to the thickness and opacity of emulsions, add a luxurious silky feel to powdered products, absorb wetness, sweat, and skin (or scalp) oils, calm skin sensitivities or irritations, and carry out many more functions. It is also the substitute of choice in cosmetic recipes that incorporate talc or cornstarch. Arrowroot products can be truly versatile, ranging from makeup to deodorants to bath products to hair styling gels.
HOW DOES ARROWROOT POWDER WORK?
In emulsions, Arrowroot Powder acts as a thickener, opacifier, and softener that can also contribute to an absorbent effect. In creams and lotions, it is reputed to produce a brightening, mattifying, and skin-soothing quality that may be particularly useful in products designed for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin types.
In dry powder formulations, Arrowroot Powder provides a light, soft, silky finish to the skin that can also provide a cooling, drying, and freshening sensation. It is popular in deodorizing body powders for its ability to absorb sweat and moisture, and if formulated with Essential Oils or Fragrance Oils, it can help mask odors as well. It is important to note that Arrowroot does not particularly display any antibacterial or antimicrobial properties and therefore cannot prevent body perspiration or odors by itself.
In anhydrous formulations, such as body salves, body balms, and beauty butters, Arrowroot Powder can effectively create a non-sticky, non-greasy end product that leaves a more appealing finish on the skin.
Altogether, depending on the context and application, Arrowroot Powder can do many things, acting as an absorbent, thickener, texture enhancer, deodorizer, filler, binding agent, mattifier, color modifier, and more!
ARROWROOT POWDER BENEFITS
Arrowroot Powder can act as an excellent substitute for talc or cornstarch in cosmetic formulations. Talcum powder, although a naturally occurring raw material, often suffers from a negative consumer perception due to its links with the contaminant asbestos. Others, on the other hand, may have sensitivities or allergies to cornstarch. In fact, the texture of Arrowroot can be even finer and silkier than cornstarch and also does not have the negative connotations associated with cornstarch as it is typically made from genetically modified (GMO) corn. Arrowroot Powder is, therefore, a great alternative to these commonly used cosmetic ingredients, and is easy to work with due to its almost-identical consistency.
A further benefit of Arrowroot Powder in skincare and personal hygiene is its rejuvenating, softening, and skin-soothing properties. Arrowroot contains many beneficial minerals and vitamins such as zinc, iron, potassium, and Vitamin B6, and is known to provide relief to skin irritations including rashes, acne, skin sores, and rashes. It is suited for all skin types and is particularly gentle on sensitive skin, making it ideal for baby care products or for use in the elderly. Apart from this, Arrowroot Powder can also improve one's skin texture, condition skin, reduce oiliness, and also bring a natural glow to one's complexion due to its anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Lastly, the texture-enhancing effects of Arrowroot, including its thickening, softening, and degreasing effects, can increase the sensory benefits offered by beauty products and make them more appealing for customers to use. The all-natural, non-toxic, non-GMO, plant-based sourcing of Arrowroot Powder, coupled with its positive associations with health and well-being, can also be a good fit for vegan and organic skincare and cosmetics brands, making such products easier to market.
APPLICATIONS FOR ARROWROOT POWDER
This section contains a non-exhaustive list of applications for Arrowroot Powder, with suggested guidelines to inspire you to experiment with or create your own Arrowroot products.
Face Powder and Powder Makeup
On its own, Arrowroot Powder can act as an effective translucent face powder that can be used to control shine within the T-Zone area. Simply dust a bit using a soft brush or a makeup sponge to mattify oily regions and soften skin. It can equally be used lightly all over the face as a setting powder for lasting makeup wear. Unlike talcum powder, the fine texture of Arrowroot prevents the clogging of pores or the appearance of cakiness.
Incorporated into powder makeup formulations, Arrowroot can be used to fully replace talc in products such as eye shadows, blush, bronzer, and powder foundations. In loose powder makeup, it forms an excellent skin-friendly base ingredient. It can also act as a color modifier in makeup recipes; the addition of Arrowroot can help lighten colors, mattify shiny pigments, or mute bright colors.
Recommended Usage for Face Powder and Powder Makeup: 5-95%
Body Powders and Foot Powders
Arrowroot Powder can be used to create soothing, protective, deodorizing body and foot powders that also exudes a luxurious quality due to its fineness. A simple everyday body powder can be created by mixing 6 tbsp. of Arrowroot Powder with 1 tbsp. of Kaolin Clay. For fragrance, 6-8 drops of a few Essential Oils of your choice can be added. The absorbent properties of Arrowroot will quickly freshen skin, ease friction, and function as an anti-irritant. For this reason, it is popular in remedies for athlete's foot as well.
Parents may prefer using Arrowroot Powder on babies and children compared to traditional baby powder which incorporates talcum powder or cornstarch. Arrowroot is as effective as these conventionally used ingredients in sweeping up sweat and moisture to prevent chafing, diaper rash, and other common irritations. To make your own natural baby powder, combine 3 parts of Arrowroot Powder to 1 part of White Kaolin Clay followed by stirring in a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil (4-5 drops for each cup of powder). Store the mixture in a tightly sealed powder puff box. To apply, use the powder puff to sprinkle a little bit of powder gently on the baby's body - do not apply directly to prevent inhalation of the powder into the baby's lungs.
Recommended Usage for Body Powders and Foot Powders: 5-95%
Lotions and Creams
When added to lotions, creams, and other moisturizing formulations, Arrowroot Powder can function as a thickening and opacifying agent that adds texture appeal to the final product. As Arrowroot is insoluble in water, it is typically be added to the oil phase and incorporated using a whisk.
Arrowroot Powder can induce a mattifying effect on the skin and is thus especially suited for those with oily skin types. To make a basic oil control face cream, simply add 1 g of Arrowroot Powder to 100 g of NDA's Cream Base Ultra Premium and mix well. Applying this as a moisturizer will help cut down on shininess and also provide a great primer base before makeup application.
Recommended Usage for Lotions and Creams: 1-30%.
Arrowroot functions as a thickening agent and absorbent in natural deodorants. To create your own gentle, non-toxic deodorant, gently heat 6 tbsp. of Coconut or Babassu Carrier Oil (both great choices for their antibacterial properties) along with 4 tbsp. of Shea Butter until they warm up and start to melt. At this point, stir in 4 tbsp. of Arrowroot Powder and 6 tbsp. of baking soda and mix with a whisk, followed by 6-10 drop of Essential Oils of your choice. Pour into your desired container and allow it to cool and thicken.
Recommended Usage for Natural Deodorants: 20-30%.
Arrowroot Powder can be incorporated into formulations for soaps, body scrubs, bath bombs, soaking salts, and body polishes where it can act as a thickener and binding ingredient. In bath soaks, for example, Arrowroot creates an excellent base ingredient to combine with Clays, Essential Oils, and other Raw Materials while conditioning the skin to feel soft and smooth. In bath bomb recipes, Arrowroot helps bind all ingredients together to keep and hold the shape of the bath bomb intact. In body scrubs, Arrowroot can be added to thicken or bind the formula for easier application in the shower.
Recommended Usage for Bath Products: 5-95%
Hair Care Products
In haircare, Arrowroot Powder is predominantly used in dry shampoo formulations. It acts as an excellent absorbent of excess moisture and oils to instantly freshen and rejuvenate the appearance of hair strands. Once applied to the scalp, it can easily be brushed through the strands where it disappears without leaving behind flakes or clumps.
Arrowroot can also be used as a thickener or binder for natural or vegan hair masks designed for those with oily hair. The amount of Arrowroot incorporated can be easily modified depending on individual needs.
Recommended Usage for Hair Care Products: 5-95%
Body Balms, Body Butters, and Body Salves
Arrowroot powder can be added to anhydrous body care products including body balms, salves, and butters to enable the end product to have a more appealing lightweight texture while leaving a non-greasy finish to the skin. In body butter recipes, for example, Arrowroot can be added directly to the oils and butters once they are just beginning to melt. The mixture can then be blended as normal before depositing into your desired containers.
Recommended Usage for Body Butters, Balms, and Salves: Use as needed.
In lip balm formulations, Arrowroot Powder can be added to help enhance texture, mattify, or alter the shade of colorants. To use, simply add the Arrowroot directly to the oils, butters, and waxes once they are just beginning to melt, and stir well.
Recommended Usage for Lip Balms: Use as needed.
Arrowroot powder provides added benefits when incorporated into facial masks, making them more suited for oily skin, acne-prone skin, or sensitive skin. It can also be used for masks that aim to brighten or even out one's complexion. Arrowroot powder can be mixed with other natural raw materials, including Clays, Botanical or Fruit Extracts, Zinc Oxide, Activated Charcoal, Colloidal Oatmeal, and Essential Oils to customize or create optimized skincare.
For clay masks, using a clay of your choice as a base, add the desired amount of Arrowroot Powder before making a paste with water (or stored in powder form for later use). To make a simple face mask for oily skin that unclogs pores, draws out impurities, and adds a clear healthy glow, combine 1 tsp. of Multani Mitti (Fullers Earth) Clay, ½ tsp. of Arrowroot Powder, and a little water (you may also use Floral Water or Aloe Vera Gel Juice) to create a thick paste. To make a soothing face mask ideal for sensitive skin, combine 20 g of White Kaolin Clay (0.7 oz) with 10 g (0.3 oz) of Arrowroot Powder. Follow with 1 tsp. of Jojoba Carrier Oil, 2 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil, and enough water to create a paste. Apply and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water to reveal soft, clean skin.
Recommended Usage for Facial Masks: 5-95%
ARROWROOT POWDER SIDE EFFECTS
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Arrowroot Powder raw material is for external use only and is not meant for ingestion. As with all other Powder Raw Materials, care must be taken when handling Arrowroot Powder to avoid unnecessary or excessive inhalation. When using Arrowroot Powder on babies, extra care must be taken to lessen the risk of inhalation into the baby's lungs.
While Arrowroot Powder is known to be generally safe and skin-friendly, it is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this product for therapeutic purposes as individual needs and sensitivities can vary. Pregnant and nursing women, babies under the age of two years, as well as those with sensitive skin or inflammatory skin conditions, are especially advised not to use Arrowroot Powder raw material without the medical advice of a physician.
Arrowroot products should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.
Prior to using Arrowroot Powder raw material, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by melting 1 tsp of Arrowroot Powder in 1 mL of a preferred Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Arrowroot Powder must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.
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