BASF Personal Care has introduced KERASYLIUM™, a new haircare ingredient that helps repair hair that has become dry, dull and brittle and protects it from external influences. KERASYLIUM™ is a micro-complex rich in peptides and nutrients. The peptides have an amino acid composition similar to that of keratin, the naturally occurring protein in hair that provides its resistance and elasticity.

Many cosmetic manufacturers rely on keratin in their haircare products because it helps repair hair from the inside out. However, the keratin-based ingredients normally used in hair treatments are of animal origin. That’s why we developed KERASYLIUM™, a plant-based alternative,” says Cécile Kalem, Launch Manager for Europe, BASF Beauty Care Solutions France S.A.S.

Upcycling with proven efficacy

The ingredient, the result of upcycling the remaining press cake from milk thistle oil production, expands BASF’s growing portfolio of active ingredients aligned with the circular economy concept. The milk thistle used is grown in France for the extraction of its oil and is based on a traceable and sustainable supply chain. The extraction process from the seedcake is optimized for the enrichment of low molecular weight peptides. The amino acid composition of the vegetal peptides in KERASYLIUM™ resembles keratin from animal origin. Other components include polyphenols, carbohydrates, minerals and salts. Thanks to its high peptide content (50–70% of active ingredient), KERASYLIUM™ helps reduce hair breakage.

How it works

Through FT-IR analysis, BASF has proved that the low molecular weight peptides of KERASYLIUM™ penetrate deeply into the hair cortex, enabling fiber repair from inside. In addition to repair of damaged hair and protection from daily stress, extensive studies have shown that KERASYLIUM™ offers protection for the structural proteins of the hair against oxidation, while delaying color fading. It can also contribute to the reduction of breakage, especially of weakened hair, through the stabilization and repair of hair keratin, making hair stronger and shinier.

The benefits of KERASYLIUM™ at a glance:

- Accumulation in the cuticle and diffusion into hair cortex;
- Protection of the structural integrity of keratin from oxidation, carbonylation and glycation;
- Stabilization of damaged bonds;
- Interaction with cortical damaged keratin for structural recovery;
- Hair breakage protection;
- Heat protection;
- Hair color protection from UV-induced fading.

KERASYLIUM™ is an ideal renewable, plant-based alternative to the key cosmetic ingredient keratin, delivering proven efficacy and functionality. Researchers at BASF consistently reinvent hero ingredients by refining them through technological advances and performance improvements, unlocking untapped potential and developing natural alternatives.

Today, BASF is the world’s largest supplier of ingredients for natural cosmetics. Five of the company’s active ingredients have been certified as organic according to the COSMOS standard, with a total of 145 BASF cosmetic ingredients worldwide qualifying for COSMOS registration. A total of 150 cosmetic ingredients from BASF fulfill EU Ecolabel requirements, while about 200 meet the Nordic Ecolabel standards.

This large and growing portfolio makes it easier than ever for cosmetics manufacturers to develop formulations that cater to the expanding global market for sustainable and natural products. The latest innovation, KERASYLIUM™, is a perfect fit, as it qualifies for vegan products and represents upcycling of a by-product that would otherwise be considered waste.