Good for the skin and for the planet

After obtaining the Fair for Life (FFL) certification for its two ingredients MACALINE® and SKINHAIRGIUM® BIO from its maca supply chain in Peru, Laboratoires Expanscience always strive to bring their CSR approach further and is launching a new sensory ingredient: an organic illipe butter, COSMOS [1] and Fair for Life (FFL) certified by Ecocert.

This illipe butter is refined, deodorized and decolorized to allow cosmetic finished products manufacturers to add this butter in their organic formulations without impact on odor and color.

An ingredient that preserves the Borneo rainforest

Illipe Butter, also known as Shorea stenoptera Butter or tengkawang fat, is made from the nuts of the Shorea stenoptera tree, which only grows in the forests of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia.

More than 50% of Borneo’s original rainforest have been lost to deforestation over the past 50 years. A patch of the rainforest the size of a soccer field disappears every second to make room for monocultures, mostly palm. This has a considerable impact on the environment as well as the fauna and the people living in it.

Promoting the harvest of Shorea stenoptera nuts helps preventing deforestation and preserving biodiversity in Borneo. Their harvest and valuation by processing them into illipe butter is in fact more profitable than the exploitation of the palm for the inhabitants. By developing the use of illipe butter the rainforests of Borneo are thus protected.

When ripe, these large nuts fall on the forest floor, where they are harvested by hand then boiled to soften their hard shell. Once opened and sterilized, the seeds are sun-dried for several days before they are transported and processed in a community-based, zero-waste processing unit. At the processing unit, the seeds are processed in simple oil presses and vacuum filtered to obtain raw illipe butter. It is then refined, deodorized and decolorized in a certified organic refinery.

For each kilogram of illipe butter produced and sold, 135sqm of rainforest is preserved from deforestation, thus protecting the orangutan habitat.

Harvesting these nuts create an alternative source of income for the local communities by increasing the economic value of the remaining forest and thereby encouraging them to keep on protecting it.

To celebrate our partnership, Forestwise decided to plant a tree named after Laboratoires Expanscience. They chose to plant a Langsat (Lansium domesticum) in the district of Gurung Mali, located at the edge of the Borneo rainforest, at the following GPS coordinates: S 00° 16.561’ ; E 111° 19.081’

To learn more about our partner Forestwise and their actions against deforestation, click here. (link:

Illipe butter provides an intense moisturizing to the skin

Illipe butter has traditionally been used by local villagers to moisturize their skin, as well as healing sores and sunburns. Its moisturizing properties and high melting point of illipe butter are ideal for solid formulations such as lipsticks, face masks, soap, lotion bars and even shampoos. Illipe butter can also be used as an alternative to beeswax in vegan products.

Its composition profile is rich with fatty acids that provides an intense and lasting hydration to the skin.

Its properties are confirmed by a clinical study

The skin hydration levels were quantified by corneometry for 4 hours after the application of the illipe butter on 20 human volunteers and compared to the values before the treatment.

The results showed that the treatment with illipe butter significantly increased skin hydration by 19.4%, 22.1% and 25.7% respectively 1, 2 and 4 hours after treatment, compared to the basal values (0 hour); as shown in the Figure below:

Skin hydration assessment with a Corneometer (4 hours on 20 volunteers)

By combining traceability, naturality, rainforest preservation, organic and FFL certifications, this new organic illipe butter addresses all cosmetic market’s requirements today. One more good news: it is available right now!