Tapioca Starch is a known thickener and viscosity enhancer which can be used in everything from emulsions to powders.
It is often used as a talcum/talc replacement and can give a smooth feel to emulsions. According to makingcosmetics.com, it also “mitigates heavy unpleasant and greasy feel of oils, esters and waxes”.
You can use tapioca starch in creams, lotions, liquid talc replacement formulations, and makeup.
Though it is insoluble in water, you can make a “slurry” for use in your emulsions because it is “miscible” (forms a homogeneous mixture) in water.
Tapioca Starch also swells in hot water. If you’ve ever used tapioca pearls and added them to hot water for use in Bubble Tea, you’ll notice that they swell and turn kinda translucent after boiling.
You’ll find tapioca starch being used in products like Curel Itch Defense Skin Balancing Moisture Lotion. Some DIYers love it because of the powdery afterfeel it leaves on the skin. Well, they say that soft, powdery feeling is because of the tapioca starch.
Intelligent Nutrient’s Harmonic Conditioner and XANGO’s Juni Gentle Conditioner both have tapioca starch as part of their ingredients list.
I will reformulate the next time I use tapioca starch. I don’t think I used enough of it (1/8tsp) to feel any difference.
Its recommended for use 1% to 20% in lotions and creams (wholesalesuppliesplus.com)