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Dragon’s Blood is the cosmetics industry’s latest weapon in the fight against free radicals

This active ingredient, extracted from Amazon trees, can already be found in the formulas of skin and hair care products available in Brazil.

A bright, blood red resin extracted from the Amazonian tree Croton lechleri is what gives this species its common name – the dragon’s blood tree. This resin, which has been used for centuries by forest-dwelling peoples for of its powerful wound-healing properties, was recently discovered by the beauty industry. With strong antioxidant properties, this active ingredient is now starting to be used in the formulation of products that seek to combat the action of free radicals.

Ana Carolina Marostica, Koloss's director

Ana Carolina Marostica, Koloss’s director

Koloss Cosméticos was the first Brazilian brand to launch products that use dragon’s blood in its composition. “We were looking for an innovative ingredient and a supplier suggested dragon’s blood,” says Ana Carolina Marostica, the company’s director. “We did some research into the use of this raw material and so far we have not found another facial care line that uses it in its formula.

Launched in September 2018, the Dragon’s Blood line consists of four detoxing facial care products: soap bar, micellar water, moisturizer and anti-aging booster. According to Marostica, this product line fights premature aging, protects and strengthens collagen fibers, restores and moisturizes skin and reduces redness and inflammations.

But Dragon’s Blood can be found in more than just skin care products. For instance, Arvensis, a Brazilian vegan cosmetics company, recently debuted a hair care line that contains the ingredient. “Until three years ago, I had never heard of dragon’s blood. But when I suffered a small accident in a farmstead I was staying at, a friend gave me a little bottle of dragon’s blood tree resin to help heal the wound. I was astounded by such an amazing recovery and was intrigued by the resin’s power,” says Fábio Peres, director at Arvensis. “After doing more research into this extract, we realized it had a huge potential to be used in hair care products, to treat both scalp and strands alike.

After a year and a half of testing, Arvensis came up with the formula for the shampoo, conditioner and mask that compose the Sangue de Dragão line, which is completely free of animal products, petrolatum, parabens and mineral oils. The products are recommended for damaged hair and have anti-oxidant and regenerative properties, in addition to forming a protective layer that shields strands from external aggressions. “All these products have an anti-aging effect. Plus, their anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties make scalps healthier,” adds Peres.

He also says that dragon’s blood is a very complex ingredient unlike any other currently available to cosmetics companies. Marostica agrees. “It does not substitute, nor does it compare to any other raw materials. There are some ingredients that offer the same benefits, but no other one single ingredient is capable of conferring the same benefits as dragon’s blood,” she says.

Peres believes the resin is bound to become more popular within the Brazilian cosmetics industry. “We are the first company to have used this active ingredient in hair care products, but dragon’s blood is still virtually unknown to most people.” He added that six months after its launch, the Sangue de Dragão line has already become the company’s best-seller and will soon boast new products. “We are about to debut a concentrated hair serum and other complementary products,” he said.

Koloss Cosméticos’ Ana Carolina Marostica is likewise betting big on the success of its dragon’s blood products. “People want to know where it comes from, and why it has this name,” she says. She also announced the company’s plans to launch another one or two products containing this active ingredient. “They are currently being studied and prototyped by our company, but do not yet have an estimated launch date,” said Marostica.

Renata Martins

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