Benzoin resinoid has a complex sweet scent, with spicy and earthy notes, that has been enjoyed in incense and perfumes for centuries across the world. It’s also a fixative, helping other fragrance ingredients to blend well and last longer on the skin. Used in hair and skin care, it has great soothing, protective and conditioning properties.
Benzoin is a natural resin that can be collected from two types of styrax trees: Styrax benzoin, native to Sumatra, and Styrax tonkinensis, which grows in Southeast Asia.
Although often referred to as gums, resins are slightly different, as they contain many more essential oils and are not soluble in water. Resin flows off tree trunks when they're injured. It's liquid but hardens with air exposure, like a bandage that protects the tree from disease. Once collected, it can be ground into a powder or refined with solvents to make a scented extract called a resinoid.
Many properties are attributed to benzoin, especially when it comes to its comforting and relaxing aroma. In cosmetics, it is said to soothe the skin and keep it healthy and firm. In addition, its thick consistency creates a thin protective film on the skin and hair, which helps prevent moisture loss and gives hair shine.
Lush purchase this ingredient from a supplier in Laos. They work with 80 farmers who collect resin from Styrax tonkinensis trees, using traditional methods and focusing on quality. The trees are grown and harvested in a sustainable way, and the forest is managed according to agroforestry principles. Farmers receive fair payments and labour security and safety.