Acacia Powder, also known as Arabic Gum and Senegal Gum, is harvested from the resin from Acacia trees who only produce the gum under adverse conditions such as poor soil quality and draught. It is composed of polysaccharides and glycoproteins and has slight emulsifying properties when used in oil-in-water formulations.
Dating back to ancient times, Acacia Gum has been used for a wide variety of applications, ranging from food to paintings to mummification. In Ancient Egypt, Acacia Gum was used to bind the pigments used to paint hieroglyphs, as well as to help the bandages used in the mummification process stick, and in cosmetics. In fact, Acacia Gum was the main ingredient used in Queen Cleopatra's favorite lipstick.
With so many applications, it is easy to see why this is a popular ingredient in cosmetic formulations, it can be used to emulsify, stabilize emulsions, to thicken formulations, as a suspension agent, and foam stabilizer.