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Sal resin – benefits derived from the Shorea robusta tree

The sal tree (Shorea robusta) is a tropical tree that can grow to a height of up to 35 metres. It is native to India and is known there by several names, including ral, salwa, sakhu, sakher, shal, sal, kandar and sakwa. The sal tree has a number of different uses. In cosmetics, it is mainly the resin that is used as it leaves a soft and pleasant feeling on the skin..

About sal resin

  • INCI name (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients name): Shorea Robusta Resin
  • Natural (sal tree)
  • Uses: Lip care, creams, lotions, hair treatments
  • Special properties of sal resin: Leaves a pleasant feeling on the skin and hair, invigorating

How is sal resin obtained?

Shorea robusta resin is obtained from the sal tree. The first step is to make small incisions in the bark of the trees. This stimulates the production of resin. As soon as the resin has hardened, it can be removed from the tree trunks. The substance is also known as dammar gum and it is white to light yellow in colour. It can occasionally also be translucent. “Dammar” is a Malay word and it can be translated as “light”, “torch” or “resin”. In addition to its uses in the cosmetics industry, the resin is also used to make incense on account of its light and sweet smell.

The seeds of the tree are also used for their oil. The fruits of the sal tree are “winged fruits”. They take the form of an approximately one-centimetre-long nut edged with a flat “wing”. This gives the fruits the ability to glide in the wind. The oil is extracted by a pressing process and it is used in the cosmetics industry, in the food industry and as lamp oil. In food manufacturing, the oil (also known as sal butter) is used as an alternative to palm oil.

The statements about properties, effects and effectiveness made here refer exclusively to the plant and its components/products.

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